Mobile phone firm Carphone Warehouse - which has branches in Huntingdon and St Neots - has announced the closure of all its standalone outlets.
The 531 shops will shut their doors for the final time on April 3, with a loss of nearly 3,000 jobs,
Dixons Carphone, which expects to make a £90m loss on mobile phones this year, said the closures were an “essential next step” in the turnaround of its mobile business which will in future operate from 305 Currys PC World stores and online.
The move will put a dent in both Huntingdon and St Neots town centres where Carphone Warehouse shops are in key positions.
Dixons Carphone said almost 40 per cent of staff affected by the closures, totalling 1,800 people, would be offered new jobs, but 2,900 redundancies were expected.
Alex Baldock, group chief executive, said: “Customers are changing how they buy technology, and Dixons Carphone must change with them.
“We’re under way with a fundamental transformation to do so. Today’s tough decision is an essential part of that, the next step in making our UK mobile business a success for customers, colleagues and other shareholders.”
He said: “Clearly, with unsustainable losses of £90m expected this year, mobile is currently holding back the whole business. There’s never an easy time for an announcement like this, but the turbulent times ahead only underline the importance of acting now.
“I don’t underestimate how upsetting this news will be for our colleagues, and we’ll treat everyone with honesty, respect and care. We want to keep as many of our Carphone Warehouse colleagues as we can, and expect to find new roles for almost 40 per cent of those affected.”
Mr Baldock said: “We’re working hard to look after those colleagues we can’t find new roles for, financially and otherwise. We’ll pay enhanced redundancy, any bonuses, honour their share awards, and help them find new jobs through an outplacement programme. We recognise our responsibilities towards our colleagues and communities, and intend to fulfil them.”
There had been a question-mark over some of the firm’s shops for some time as it tried to turn the mobile phone part of the business around.