Carphone Warehouse will close its 531 UK stores next month

It'll make 2,900 people redundant, while locations in PC World and Curry's stores remain open.

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Carphone Warehouse is shutting down its retail stores.

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Independent phone retailer Carphone Warehouse will close its 531 stores on April 3, making 2,900 workers redundant. The company says its decision isn't linked to the coronavirus outbreak, and its 70 stores in Ireland and international operations won't be affected.

Its 305 locations inside larger PC World and Curry's stores will remain open, parent company Dixons Carphone said. The company hopes 1,800 other employees will be able to take new roles internally as it focuses on those bigger locations and online sales. This move is part of the company's efforts to counteract the £90 million ($108 million) loss it's expected to make this year, it said.

"Though this is by far the toughest decision we've had to make, it is necessary. We must follow our customers," Group Chief Executive Alex Baldock said in a statement. "They want help with all technology, all in one place, and this trend is only going to accelerate in a more connected 5G world."

Kester Mann, consumer and connectivity director at analyst CCS Insight, noted that shifting focus to online sales and bigger stores is wise.

"With more than twice as many people expected to keep their current mobile phone for longer than their last one, footfall has declined and mobile phone retailing is tougher than ever," he wrote in an email to CNET. "Carphone Warehouse had no option but to make some major changes."