Tesco is going direct to mobile manufacturers, cutting out mobile distributors from its supply chain, sources claim.
The move will come as a blow to distributors Tech Data Mobile, Exertis UK and Brightstar. The supermarket giant's mobile division is estimated to provide over £150m of annual trade across the three distributors.
Sources say Tesco launched the strategy after trialling its direct distribution model with mobile manufacturers.
The decision to cut out mobile distributors closely follows Tesco's decision to phase out mobile operator contract deals from its Tesco Phone Shops, as part of plans to only sell Tesco Mobile contract deals to its customers.
Industry sources said the move to cut out mobile distributors is linked to Tesco's wider strategy to cut costs across its business in the face of rising competition in the supermarket sector from the likes of cut price grocers Lidl and Aldi.
Tesco declined to comment.
Brightstar, Exertis and Tech Data Mobile were also unavailable for comment.