Currys’ rapid delivery trial with Uber will allow it to further differentiate from competitors, says GlobalData

Following the interim trading update from Currys, Kunaal Shah, retail analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on this news; “On the surface, newly-rebranded Currys’ performance looks to be quite poor with UK & Ireland (UK&ROI) like-for-like (l-f-l) sales down 3% for the first six months of the year. However, there are still positives as its UK & ROI two-year l-f-l sales were up 11%, driven by its electricals division that reported a l-f-l sales increase of 21% against the two-year figure. While electrical sales were down 1% on last year, this decline was driven by lower consumer demand for products such as home office technology this year, given the investment seen in these categories during the height of the pandemic – a trend also reported within Argos in Sainsbury’s H1 FY2021/22 results this morning.

“Currys also announced the launch of its rapid delivery trial with Uber, starting on 15 November from 15 of its London stores, where consumers can shop from a range of 1,800 products such as printer cartridges, laptops and headphones. This partnership will enable Currys to further differentiate its online offer, something that has already been a clear focus for the electricals retailer given its ShopLive video service and one-hour Order & Collect offer. While there is a growing appetite for this service in the food & grocery sector, there is not much demand for it for electricals, but by providing consumers with the opportunity to purchase items and have them delivered within 30 minutes will allow Currys to aid consumers who have an urgent electrical need in a much quicker time than other competitors.

“With AO warning that supply chain issues will impact sales, Currys must focus on how it navigates through these challenges which threaten the festive period. Currys believes it has put strong measures in place to mitigate these issues and remains on course to meet full year profit before tax expectations of £161m, resulting in its share price rising over five percent in early morning trading. Yet with so many retailers warning of similar pressures, it is hard to see how Currys will be able to avoid the same difficulties entirely.”