Carphone Warehouse is to scrap its strategy of paying store staff sales commissions in a bid to put customer service ahead of personal financial gain.
As revealed by Retail Week, the retailer began a commission-free trial with 1,300 staff in London last year, to encourage staff to make a sale using impartial advice.
Carphone Warehouse UK chief executive Andrew Harrison said the success of the trial meant that the practice would be rolled out to its 820 UK stores.
“We want to stand out within this market, to be the people who you just know are going to be on your side,” he said. “Customers think this industry has been more akin to estate agency or car salesmen. That is not what our business is built on.”
Harrison said that staff retention in the London area during the trial had gone up after basic salaries rose from £11,000 to £17,000. The retailer introduced the higher basic salaries and store performance-related bonuses in a phased move in October.
Commissions have been cut across the electricals sector as customers battle to understand the wide array of services on offer. Comet axed commissions in 2003 and DSGi will focus on rewarding store teams as part of its turnaround plan.
The move mirrors Carphone Warehouse’s joint venture partner Best Buy’s structure in the US.