Jobs to go as Carphone Warehouse closes Best Buy stores

The Strand in central London was cordoned-off after some 1,450 people were evacuated from a nightclub and a hotel following a gas leak. Picture: London Fire Brigade/PA Wire

NATIONAL: 1,450 people evacuated in central London following gas leak

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More than 1,000 jobs were under threat today after retailer Carphone Warehouse announced it was pulling the plug on its Best Buy stores in the UK.

The company has launched a consultation about closing the 11 shops as it shifts its focus to selling more electronics goods through its Carphone Warehouse outlets.

Carphone hopes to find the ‘large majority’ of the 1,100 staff roles elsewhere within the organisation.

Best Buy UK operates the so-called ‘big box” stores across the South East and Midlands, which were launched to great fanfare in 2009, and were intended to shake up the electronics market with cheaper prices and better customer service.

Best Buy currently has a Big Box store in Hedge End. The group of stores made a loss of £62 million in its first year in the UK and analysts expect it to report a loss of £35 million in the first half of 2011 alone.