Asda is reviewing its phone store strategy launching a trial of three directly managed Phone Shops at flagship stores in Cardiff, Manchester and Birmingham.
The trial marks a move away from Adsa’s retail strategy which currently sees its existing 13 stores operate as concessions managed and staffed by field marketing group Infinite. The company took over the running of the concessions from Shebang, which ran Asda’s Phone Shop stores from July 2010 until it went into administration in May last year.
If the trial stores prove a success the supermarket could set up directly managed Phone Shops across its portfolio of over 500 stores. The supermarket said the trial was in response to the surging sales in the contract market, with supermarkets traditionally seen as the home of prepay propositions. Dave Griffiths, tech section leader at Asda’s Cardiff store, who is managing the trial store at Cardiff, told Mobile: ‘The idea is to compare the performance of both models and if it is successful roll it out further.’
The new Phone Shops are also expected to play a key role in Asda’s drive into the converged market which has seen it open first Tech Centre at its flagship Cardiff store. The Tech Centre, which stocks a range of electronic goods including laptops, TV and cameras, and the directly managed Phone Shop are both overseen by Griffiths with staff at both outlets working closely to cross sell bundled deals.
Griffiths said: ‘Both are proposition stores and are part of a proposed changeover in the way we sell phones and technology…They are separate shops within the store but there is much greater interaction between the Phone Shop and TechCentre colleagues than before.’
The Phone Shop trials are being run by Adam May, Asda’s telecoms Phone Shop trading manager. Asda’s converged technology strategy is being overseen by Sanjay Kapoor, who is head of strategy: Entertain at Asda. Kapoor is tasked with launching the Tech Zone and one of his key briefs at Asda is to look at how to bring technology to families.
An Asda spokesman said: ‘We are currently trialling concept phone shop stores at three of our stores and they will be managed by knowledgeable Asda colleagues. We are always looking to improve our customers’ experience in store and this is another way they can access Asda Mobile easily.
‘The Asda Mobile network is now established as one the UK’s best loved PAYG networks. The contract market is a growing part of the industry which is why as Asda Mobile continues to grow this will also be an area of focus for us.’
Author: Carol Millett