Dixons Carphone and Sprint walk away from joint venture

Dixons Carphone and Sprint have announced the end of a joint-venture, with the US telco taking full control of the initiative.

The UK group entered into an agreement with Sprint in 2015 open and manage a number of Sprint-branded stores in the US, as part of wider expansion plans of the business. Dixon’s has cited a challenging and changing mobile landscape in the US for the exit.

The initial idea was deemed a success, with the experimental 20 stores being expanded to 500, though following a review of its strategy, Sprint has seemingly forced Dixons Carphone to hand over its share. It has not been a good couple of years for Dixons Carphone across the pond, as the pre-merged Carphone Warehouse group sold stake in a joint venture to partner Best Buy for more than $1bn back in 2011.

“We have enjoyed working with Sprint to accelerate their store opening programme over the last two years and have developed an estate and a pipeline to help support their ambitious growth plans,” said Andrew Harrison, Dixons Carphone Deputy Group CEO.

“With the significant shift in the US mobile market, now is the right time to transfer these stores to Sprint, and to concentrate on our exciting software business, Honeybee. It has been a privilege to work so closely with Marcelo and his excellent team as they turn around this amazing business and we look forward to making Honeybee as successful for Sprint as it is for us.”

“Sprint is assuming full ownership of more than 100 stores currently operated by Sprint Connect, a joint venture with Dixons Carphone,” said Kevin Crull, President of Omnichannel Sales at Sprint. “We are rapidly expanding our retail footprint to serve the high demand for the Sprint value proposition. There will be no disruption in Sprint Connect store operations and they will remain staffed by the retail teams currently working to serve our customers in these locations.”

While this would not necessarily be deemed a successful week, there does seem to be a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Dixons Carphone will now have more time to focus on the rollout of its Honeybee digital software, an offering aimed at streamlining the in-store shopping experience, across the Sprint business.

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