O2 has reached a milestone in its franchise programme, by transferring control of more than 50 stores to new and existing franchise partners.
The move is part of a wider strategy launched last year by O2 to increase its franchised retail estate from 120 stores to 200 stores across the UK. The move will leave O2 with 250 directly managed O2 stores.
An O2 spokesman told Mobile: ‘We’re making good progress with the transfer of 80 stores to franchise and have now approved over two thirds to a combination of both new and existing franchisees.
‘We hope to assign the remaining stores over the next few weeks. Our customers and employees remain at the heart of this assignment so that we deliver a seamless experience at point of transfer over the coming months.’
Contenders for the franchised stores are understood to include Telenomics, Communications Plus and Talk Direct, as well as new entrants. Bidders will have to pay between £25,000 and £50,000 for each store.
Telenomics founder Adarsh Radia said the move was ‘ a vote of confidence’ from O2 for its franchise partners. Franchises said they have a track record of delivering higher revenues than directly managed stores. The move also reduces O2’s capital expenditure with the freehold property and rent risks remaining with the franchisee.
The strategy also adds impetus to O2’s b2b ambitions with the 80 franchised stores located in areas with strong links to the b2b community.
Author: Carol Millett