John Lewis has announced a partnership with Vodafone to sell mobile phones and contracts in its department stores.
The retailer will initially sell the latest handsets, including Apple and Samsung, SIM free via its online store. As part of the second roll out phase, the firm will work with Vodafone to launch trial mobile phone shops in London and Manchester. These retail shops will be jointly run by Vodafone and John Lewis staff and will offer Vodafone contracts from August.
Speaking to Mobile, Suddy Bhardwaj, John Lewis buyer, explained that the high street retailer will look to fill the gap in the market. He said: 'With all the mergers coming up with 3/O2 and BT/EE, as well as the Phones 4u closures, I think it has left a bit of a gap in the market and has left customers confused.'
John Lewis will offer free insurance and two year warranties on all devices, in a move that it claims will hold true to its ‘never knowingly undersold’ promise. The brand claims it will simplify the ‘daunting’ process of purchasing a phone. The company will offer just two tarrifs to customers both with unlimited minutes and texts, but will differ on high or low data usage.
Johnathan Marsh, EHT Buying Director, John Lewis, explained: ‘At the moment there are thousands of potential combinations of mobile handsets and tariffs on the market, which can be really daunting for customers.
‘We’ve got a very strong technology business and being able to offer customers mobile phones is an important part of our connected home strategy. We know from our website traffic and searches that customers are actively looking for mobiles from us, but it’s important we go into this market in a John Lewis way.’
From today John Lewis will sell 25 SIM free smartphones online, including Apple, Samsung, LG, Microsoft Lumia, HTC, Doro, Motorola and Sony.