Three is aiming to double its customers to 10 million by 2015, with plans to increase the number of retail stores by 18% during the next two years.
Three CEO David Dyson said the retail plans would increase its store portfolio to 400 branches. He said: 'We will continue to work to improve our existing stores. We want to broaden our appeal and make sure our store reflects the very best in retail offerings. We want to bring the customer experience to life.' CFO Richard Woodward added: 'Our retail portfolio will be increased depending on finding the right location.'
Dyson revealed that Three had seen an explosion in demand for data, with a four-fold increase in just 12 months. Three's contract customers now use an average of 800MB per month. Dyson said: 'Our focus on data continues with the increasing demand for internet access on mobile growing. Our data plans, the One Plan, the Ultimate Internet Plan and the Essential Internet Plan, we feel fit the bill.'
To fuel data demands, Dyson said the operator was increasing the number of its network sites, which will grow from 12,600 to 18,000 by 2015. He claimed improvements in ethernet connections had led to faster download speeds, with Three customers receiving an average of 3Mbps, up from just under 2Mbps a year ago.
Two weeks ago, Mobile reported that Three had split from Phones 4u. Dyson revealed this morning that 89% of its sales were direct, whether through retail, online or telesales. This contrasted sharply with 2007, when 85% of its sales were third party.
Dyson said the operator continued to score highly in YouGov polls, where it was rated the top tablet and mobile broadband retailer for March, and scored second for smartphones. However, it moved from number two to being voted the best iPhone retailer. Dyson said: 'All of this is very exciting for us. We are going to focus on making sure our customers get the best end-to-end experience. It's all about execution and we are going to stay ahead. We have a great team of people in place to continue to take us forward.'
Woodward said the operator was building momentum through active customer growth, net contract handset growth and smartphone sales on Three's network. Churn was 1.1% in Q1 2012, down from 1.7% in the first half of last year. Woodward said: 'Effective distribution, excellent results in cross-selling retail/online and telesales, increased efficiency and improved customer experience had led to the continued broader appeal.'
Editor: Shujaul Azam