9/29/2010 11:15:00 AM
Everything Everywhere to grow direct share through retail
Everything Everywhere will grow its direct share through an increased retail footprint, the operator’s chief commercial officer Andrew Ralston told Mobile this week.
The Orange and T-Mobile joint venture is planning to increase its store footprint to 720 stores. In low footfall areas where it doesn’t make sense to have two stores, the company is looking at joint branded shops. The company held its investor day in London on Tuesday (28 September).
A joint branded store trial has opened in the West Country, although Ralston would not specify where.
The operator is now planning to acquire direct customers and is targeting a figure of 60% of its total base by 2014. Its direct customer base currently stands at 55%.
Ralston said: ‘Direct share has been growing and the extended footprint will grow it further. Indirect is still an integral part though.’
However, CCS Insight MD Shaun Collins said Everything Everywhere’s plans to increase direct sales to 60% raises questions over incentives for indirect channel partners. He said: ‘Everything Everywhere will face a major challenge in how to keep its indirect channel partners incentivised in that mix.’
The joint venture will also consider expanding its number of concession stores, including those it already has in HMV. Ralston said: ‘We are looking at – particularly on the Orange side – innovative formatting and expanding concessions. HMV has been very successful and we wouldn’t be adverse to other similar deals.’
‘There will be a T-Mobile and Orange branding review in September next year. The approach to running the brands is to absolutely ensure core stability,’ Ralston said. ‘There are a number of scenarios as to where we would end up. There will be no radical rethink. It’s about fine tuning and doing what we have been doing.’
The company will also target Orange and T-Mobile customers for fixed broadband as it looks to diversify its offering beyond mobile and become a unified comms provider.
Meanwhile, the company is planning to retain its call centre estate. Ralston said: ‘It’s a question of service, and it is unlikely that an agent would be able to do Orange and T-Mobile – it would be impossible. We might consolidate the specialist teams though.’
Everything Everywhere is currently reviewing the next level down under directors, Ralston said, and has been for the last two months.
Orange to be dominant, says analyst
Shaun Collins, MD of CCS Insight, said he expected Orange to be the dominant brand: ‘From an operational point of view, it appears Orange will contribute significantly to the way Everything Everywhere goes to market. It is the much stronger brand, whilst T-Mobile is bringing its expertise in integrating networks to the table.’