5/27/2010 2:13:00 PM
T-Mobile will continue after merger, says indie retail chief
T-Mobile pledged its commitment to Fonehouse at the retailer’s Partner Conference last week, reassuring delegates that the T-Mobile brand will continue under the Orange/T-Mobile merger.
Roger Fletcher, T-Mobile’s head of independent retail, said: ‘It is really important to understand that the T-Mobile brand is not going and all the investment Fonehouse has put into T-Mobile over 15 years will not be lost. We will very much continue to be a presence on the high street.’
Fletcher said the joint venture will have ‘the biggest retail presence on the high street, with 711 stores to date’. He insisted no stores will close following the merger, telling delegates: ‘The intention is to increase the retail presence of both brands.’
Orange and T-Mobile stores sharing the same high street ‘will continue in these towns in the same way,’ Fletcher pledged, although he did not rule out some stores merging in the future. ‘There will in due course be plans to look at – maybe – joint branded stores in smaller towns.’
However, he emphasised that the joint venture’s immediate plan is to grow the retail presence of both brands, saying: ‘Like any organisation, we will look at it and the detail of various operations, but right now it is about growth rather than closing down or combining stores.’
Fletcher said the joint venture will also target b2b: ‘The strength of our Super Network will really give us the scale to launch a new assault in the business market.’
The joint venture intends to increase its presence in the wholesale business.
Fonehouse partners need to be aware of the way the market has changed, Fletcher warned.
‘There are no longer reams of new customers for contracts. We expect partners to be strong at maintaining and developing our base by introducing the new services – it is no longer just about new acquisitions and connections.’