Shebang’s Go Mobile 4Uni stores could be extended to 50 campuses next year after it reported high footfall and sales at two trial stores.
The retailer is testing the concept with two pilots on campus at the University of Essex and the University of Hertfordshire. Speaking to Mobile, Shebang Technologies Group CEO Iain Humphrey said early indications were positive with both franchise stores reporting high footfall and turnover.
Humphrey (pictured) said it had identified ‘at least 40 to 50 opportunities’ on other UK university sites. He added: ‘If this works for us it will be a good opportunity to open more Go Mobile 4Uni stores at other universities in the next academic year.’
Humphrey said the pilot was in line with Shebang’s wider retail strategy. He said: ‘We are not about being on the high street, we are about being in communities – in niche, localised and specialist areas delivering community mobile phone retailing.’
The two pilot stores are currently fine-tuning the Go Mobile 4Uni concept, Humphrey added. He said: ‘We don’t see this community in similar terms to the Phones 4u 18-24-year-olds who aspire to that brand. The university community covers a wide range, from overseas students to those students who are moving away from home to start a new life, and we are trying to understand that community and see how we can make our model fit.’
Both Go Mobile 4Uni stores employ students from their local university and Humphrey said he was planning for the stores to become an integral part of campus life. He added: ‘We want to create a team of enthusiastic students networking heavily on our behalf on campus.’