Carphone and Harvey Norman enter partnership agreement

Mobile phone retailer will open a dozen concession outlets in Australian chain stores

Carphone Warehouse Ireland, the mobile phone retailer, has entered a partnership agreement with Australian chain Harvey Norman that will create up to 80 new jobs over the next two months.

Carphone will open 12 concession stores, one within each of Harvey Norman’s Irish electronics outlets, with the first three Dublin stores due to be operational by the end of the week.

The mobiles retailer says it also hopes to strike similar concession deals with a number of “supermarkets and department stores” after Christmas, although it declined to provide further details.

The agreement with Harvey Norman will see Carphone staff operate the concession stores, while the Australian retailer will provide the retail floor space.

The tie-up will operate as a joint venture and the two companies will “share the profit margins”, according to Peter Scott, managing director of Carphone Warehouse Ireland.

The arrangement has been on trial at Harvey Norman’s Airside Retail Park outlet in north Dublin since last year. Scott said yesterday that the Swords concession generated revenues higher than the average among Carphone Warehouse’s 80 Irish standalone stores.

Two more concessions will open this week at Blanchardstown and Nutgrove retail parks. Nine more will open by early November at the rate of one a week, in locations including Cork, Waterford and Limerick.

Scott said Carphone Warehouse had expanded rapidly during the boom through entering “onerous” leases and it would have been “impractical” to open more standalone stores. The concession model, he added, gave it the opportunity to continue expanding without entering more leases.

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