O2 is driving into the SME market with the launch of a pilot store in London targeting the SME community.
If the pilot store proves a success the operator plans to roll out further stores in major cities across the UK.
The split-level franchised store, on Tottenham Court Road in London, houses the operator's first O2 Workshop, which is a state-of-the-art, walk-in workspace targeted at local and out of town SMEs.
The Workshop, which is at basement level, offers drop-in and bookable work spaces for up to 75 people as well as three O2 Gurus on hand to offer free help and advice. The space includes open work stations for up to 10 people with access to power and wireless printers.
There is also a customer lounge with soft seating, tablet devices for browsing and free hot and cold refreshments. The area also includes four semi-private meeting rooms each able to hold up to four people with access to LCD screens for presentations.
A seminar room for up to 30 people in lecture format is also available, as well as a private conference room with interactive white board facilities for up to 10 people.
Other facilities include a concierge bar for customer enquiries and booking workspaces, an O2 Guru bar for support and advice, complete with product showcase area, O2 Wifi and customer toilets.
The O2 Workshop will also play host to weekly events designed to support and encourage local entrepreneurs and small businesses, working in partnership with organisations such as Start-Up Britain and Enterprise Nation.
The 4,500 square feet store, which is the largest in O2’s estate, will target consumers as well as SME customers, with the ground floor fitted in O2’s new store design format, featuring the latest range of live devices, consultation areas and an express till.
Store staff have also been trained to help people with hearing or sight problems choose the right phone. All staff have been given Sight Loss Awareness and Deaf Awareness training, as supported by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and Action on Hearing Loss, formerly known as the Royal National Institute for the Deaf.
The new store will be run by Telenomics, an O2 franchise business founded in 2007 by Amar Radia, Adarsh Radia and Asad Hamir.
Heralded as an O2 Business Gold Partner for two years running, Telenomics currently manages three other stores in London and the South East, all of which are among the top performing O2 stores.
Richard Baylis, head of O2 retail, said: ‘Back in January, we announced a whole new approach to our retail business where we increased investment to continue to roll out our successful new store design and to add 250 additional O2 Gurus to help deliver a better experience. As part of that change, we continue to trial new retail environments, such as our first supermarket concession, and now in the form of the O2 Workshop at Tottenham Court Road. At this fitting location – due for extensive redevelopment next year – we are excited to explore a new level of service environment for our customers.’
Amar Radia, Telenomics director said: ‘We are delighted to be working together with O2 to open this unique and state-of-the-art store on London's famous Tottenham Court Road. We are immensely proud of the relationship we have developed with O2, which has resulted in this project – a great achievement for a franchise and testament to O2's commitment to their franchise community.’