When it comes to running a mobile phone franchise in the UK, there are few bigger names out there to consider than Carphone Warehouse. But Dixons Carphone (the parent company formed by the merger of Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse Group), as of September 2021, goes by the name Currys Plc. With many different brands now under one big umbrella, what’s going on, and are Carphone Warehouse franchise opportunities still available in the UK?
As you begin to conduct your research, you’re likely to find content online that talks about starting a Dixons Carphone franchise or a Carphone Warehouse franchise. But are you able, post-September-2021, to become a franchisee in the thriving, ever-growing technology industry with the Carphone Warehouse telecommunications brand?
Does Carphone Warehouse franchise in the UK?
No, you can no longer start a Carphone Warehouse franchise in the UK. For Carphone Warehouse, tablets, phones and other communication devices were the name of the game, and Dixons Carphone wireless was a customer favourite - until it wasn’t. Unfortunately, after declining performance despite a name change to Currys Mobile, all stand-alone Carphone Warehouse shops within the telecommunications franchise’s network were closed in March 2020, and the brand was fully folded into Currys in October 2021.
Electricals company Dixons Carphone is merging its four tech and retail businesses under the Currys name as part of a major group rebrand. Currys PC World and Dixons, alongside mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse and service partner Team Knowhow, will all become known as Currys by the end of October, with a visual identity developed by FutureBrand and relaunched website.
- Michaela Jefferson, Marketing Week
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The history of Currys plc, one of the UK’s largest tech companies
Currys first came onto the retail scene as a seller of bikes all the way back in the 20s. From this point, the brand expanded rapidly and steadily, becoming a household electrical goods retailer by the 60s. In 1984, Currys was purchased by Dixons, a rival retailer, and Dixons continued to use the Currys brand for outlets of the combined company.
From 2008, larger stores on retail-park-style-premises were known under the Currys PC World name, combining Currys’ retail operations with Dixon’s PC World’s under one roof. When Dixons acquired Carphone Warehouse in 2014, Dixons Carphone was formed, and by October 2021, all the outlets, along with Team Knowhow, had been rebranded, under one name, as Currys plc.
And breathe! It’s a lot to take in, so if you need a re-read, don’t be alarmed. The main thing to take away from Currys’ storied history is that, in the words of the company, “The business has changed a lot in 130 years but our desire to help everyone enjoy amazing technology has remained consistent, from bikes and gramophones a hundred years ago, to drones and virtual reality today.”
Start a franchise in the retail industry
From Carphone Warehouse mobile services to Carphone Warehouse TV services, this brand provided for UK customers for years. But If you can’t launch a Carphone Warehouse business of your own anymore, what can you do instead? Currys Plc is mid-overhaul right now, and there’s not a lot of information out there about franchising with the tech giant and entering the telecommunications sector. But there are plenty of other franchise opportunities available in the retail industry that might require similar skills. Here are just a few...
1. Signorini Tartufi
Signorini Tartufi is an innovative, fast-expanding seller of truffle products with over 30 boutiques across the globe. The franchise was founded by Frédéric Dubois Signorini, and he’s proud to be giving everyone the luxurious taste of truffles at fair and affordable prices.
- Becoming a Signorini Tartufi franchisee: You won’t need specific industry experience, but you will need management experience and plenty of business acumen, alongside plenty of dedication, dynamism and excitement to get started.
- How much you need to invest: You’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £30,000, with franchise fees of £15,000 and a total investment cost of £90,000 (plus operating and advertising fees).
- What you get for your investment: Every franchisee spends a day in an existing boutique to get a feel for the franchise, followed by a week training in an existing boutique (covering everything from products to sales to the Signorini brand).
2. Post & Packing
Post & Packing is a post shop offering customers a vast range of postal services, including archiving services, courier services, fulfilment services and more. Founded in 2012, the retail franchise has grown steadily, and now has 11 different franchise locations across the UK.
- Becoming a Post & Packing franchisee: Knowledge of the postal industry would be beneficial, but isn’t essential. Beyond this, you should be dedicated, committed and ready to take the growth of your Post & Packing franchise as far as you can.
- How much you need to invest: You’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £35,000, with a total investment cost of £50,000 and operating, advertising and royalty fees (each ranging between £150-£995 per month based on various factors).
- What you get for your investment: You’ll be inducted and trained on every aspect of the business, including marketing, sales and operations. You’ll then have access to all the ongoing support you need when up and running as a Post & Packing franchisee.
3. Apollo Blinds
Apollo Blinds is a leading UK retailer, selling customers across the country blinds, shutters and awnings. A vast range of quality options and designs are available through Apollo Blinds, and the network is now over 50 franchisees strong.
- Becoming an Apollo Blinds franchisee: You don’t need any specific industry experience, but you will need the right amount of capital and the right amount of dedication to the work you’ll do as an Apollo Blinds franchisee.
- How much you need to invest: You’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £20,000.
- What you get for your investment: You’ll be supported by head office, a support team, area managers, product trainers and a marketing team, all handling different areas/queries and all available to help you sail smoothly through your launch.
>> Read more:
- 5 Advantages of Franchising for Young People
- 9 Things to Know Before Becoming a Franchisee
- Mythbusters: Common Misconceptions About What Makes a Successful Franchisee
- 5 Great Reasons to Become a Franchisee
- Franchising 101: Are You Ready to Become a Franchisee?
- Franchising 101: 6 Things to Know Before Becoming a Franchisee
Franchising in the retail industry guarantees profitability and flexibility in equal measure
For more advice on launching a successful retail franchise and growing your business to attain long-term success, stay on Point Franchise. Check out five tips for building a successful business plan for your retail franchise, four tips for running your retail franchise efficiently and five tips for marketing your retail franchise effectively.
Lily Sweeney, Point Franchise ©