Best Buy’s first UK big-box stores have had an “excellent” response from shoppers, joint-venture partner Carphone Warehouse reported.
Carphone Warehouse disclosed that its overall business has had a good start to the year and like-for-likes rose 3.7% in the first quarter to July 3. The retailer is confident of meeting full-year expectations.
The retailer did not provide figures for Best Buy sheds, of which three are now trading following the format’s debut in Thurrock at the end of April.
Carphone chief executive Roger Taylor said: “We are delighted with the launch of the first Best Buy stores – then customer response is excellent.”
Another three big boxes will open later this year, when an online offer will also go live, and details of 2011 openings will follow “in due course”.
Carphone said that it is benefiting from the increasing use of smartphones and the adoption of smart features in phones at all price points.
Smartphone sales drove the like-for-like performance but connections fell 1.1% “as anticipated” because of a decline in sales of lower value pre-pay phones. Gross margins were “robust” and likely to improve further, the retailer said.
The adoption of the “wireless world” store format “continues to perform well”, and Carphone is on course to have 100 such shops by March next year.
Taylor said: “Our vision of the connected world strikes a strong chord with customers. They want the powerful communication and connectivity devices that are increasingly available and value our people’s ability to set them up so they can walk out working.
“This theme, coupled with impartial advice, best value promise and informed service runs across all the best Buy Europe businesses and is helping to drive growth and customer loyalty.”