Vodafone is ramping up its training team by 60% as it prepares to roll out another 150 stores in its bid to dominate the UK high street.
The roll out, which was first revealed by Mobile in November last year, will see Vodafone hire another 1,400 staff to add to its existing head count of more than 3,000 store staff.
It will see Vodafone’s retail portfolio expand to over 500 stores across the UK, bringing it closer to rival EE, which has over 570. O2 has 466 shops, while Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4u have around 800 and 600 stores respectively.
All new staff will undergo an intensive training programme run by Vodafone’s in-house training team, which has been boosted significantly in preparation for the roll out. Significant numbers of trainers will be sent out to the new stores to take staff through a rigorous training programme based on The Vodafone Way, an ethical policy that focuses on training staff to build customer trust and loyalty, deliver speedy and efficient service and put Vodafone stores at the heart of the community.
Speaking to Mobile Martin Roberts (pictured), Vodafone UK head of retail and online, said the new stores and the 1,400 jobs they are creating was part of a £100m investment plan.
He said the intensive training programme was a central element to Vodafone’s store expansion strategy. ‘All new staff will undergo a recruitment induction programme that teaches them all about the service journey and The Vodafone Way, which is all about our core values.’
Roberts said the 15-week programme had been test driven at the first batch of new stores and refined in preparation for being driven out across all 150 stores. The first tranche of stores in the rollout are in Notting Hill, Fulham, Walthamstow, Wembley, Ilford, Perry Barr and Bicester.
Roberts said Vodafone was aiming to recruit new staff locally as part of the operator’s push to become a community focused business.
‘We are going into the heart of the community with these stores and we want to give opportunities to those communities,’ he added.
Roberts, who recently joined Vodafone from builders’ merchant Wickes where he was retail chief, added: ‘Prior to this we were not in enough communities. We are looking at postcodes and where we are to make sure we are back in the heart of these communities.’
The strategy will see Vodafone relocate over 70 stores to more central locations within the same towns. The first four stores to be relocated are in Truro, Leicestershire, West Bromwich and Sauchiehall in Glasgow.