Carphone Warehouse buys Tandy stores

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The Independent Online
ONE OF Britain's best-known electrical retail chains changed hands yesterday when the Tandy stores were sold to the Carphone Warehouse group for an undisclosed sum.

Carphone Warehouse, which is chaired by the former Guinness chairman Ernest Saunders, is buying the stores from InterTan, which owns the Radio Shack electrical stores in the United States.

The deal includes all 270 branches of Tandy in the UK and will give the enlarged group a total chain of 450 stores with annual sales of 350.

Charles Dunstone, founder of Carphone Warehouse, said the Tandy name will be retained and that there are no plans for stores closure or job losses.

It will shift the product mix, however, to focus more on mobile phones while products such as karaoke machines may be discontinued.

Mr Dunstone said much of Tandy's recent growth had come from mobile phones which in the last quarter accounted for 35 per cent of its sales.

Tandy recorded a loss of pounds 4.1m in the year to June 1998 on sales of pounds 103m. However, the group is expected to break even in the current year. Its same-store sales over Christmas were 17 per cent up on last year.

Carphone Warehouse was founded 10 years ago and now has a chain of 180 UK stores plus another 139 in continental Europe. It recorded sales of pounds 150m last year.

Commenting on the deal, Mr Dunstone said: "Tandy is a good business with an excellent infrastructure and a great deal of untapped potential. Following a rationalisation programme, the stores have been gaining market share for the last 16 months and have just enjoyed a very successful Christmas."

The 1,500 staff employed by Walsall-based Tandy will be retained, Carphone Warehouse said.