4/15/2011 10:28:00 AM
Fone Bitz to hit 40 stores
Wholesale, retail and distribution company Pama & Co Ltd is expanding its retail footprint, opening a further eight Fone Bitz stores this year.
The Stockport-based company opened three new Fone Bitz stores in March and will launch a fourth shop later this month. It plans to open a further four Fone Bitz outlets by the end of the year, bringing the total number of stores in its retail estate to 40.
The stores, which are located at motorway service stations, specialise in selling mobile phone and in-car accessories to both business and consumer travellers.
The three Fone Bitz shops that opened last month are located at Trowel South on the M1, Frankley North on the M5 and Toddington South on the M1. This month, Pama will open another store on the M1 at Toddington North.
Speaking to Mobile, Kevin McHugh, Fone Bitz MD said: ‘This expansion of our retail arm is consistent with our growing sales, which continue to buck the trend.’
Pama targets motorway service stations for its Fone Bitz stores rather than the high street to avoid cannibalising its own sales via its wholesale channel. The company’s wholesale division supplies accessories to a number of high street retailers.
McHugh (pictured) said Fone Bitz stores were performing well despite the economic climate. He added that the motorway location captured a niche market of distressed purchasers looking to replace broken or forgotten items essential to their journey, as well as passing trade.
‘We deliver what people want, where they need it the most. We also get a lot of trade from people with time on their hands – often people who wouldn’t normally visit a gadget shop,’ he added.
Pama recently clinched a deal with Swedish telecoms giant Doro, partly driven by Fone Bitz stores’ access to older consumers at motorway service stations.
The retail and distribution deal sees Fone Bitz shops ranging easy to use big button phones from Doro. The first two products on offer are the Doro PhoneEasy 332gsm in black and the Doro PhoneEasy 410gsm in white. McHugh said sales of both phones at Fone Bitz outlets are strong.
As part of the same deal, Doro’s entire mobile phone portfolio will be available through Pama’s wholesale distribution channel.