Fonehouse has announced plans to expand its TechHouse stores through a franchise scheme and a series of crowdfunding.
The retailer is hoping to raise up to £1.4m using crowd funding platform Crowdcube to enable a fast roll out of new stores. Investors using the platform will be offered rewards such as discounts on accessories, airtime, insurance and preferential availability on new products.
The TechHouse stores offer a range of accessories which Fonehouse says ‘combines fashion with tech’, in a move that the brand hopes will position it well towards the IOT and wearables markets in the near future.
There are currently four TechHouse stores in the UK located in at Bluewater (Kent), Lakeside (Essex), Bromley and Watford. Two more are set to open before Christmas and the brand has plans to open a further 6 in the first quarter of 2015.
The retailer is looking to supplement these stores with a franchisees by expanding the existing Fonehouse programme aiming to attract experienced retailers. Fonehouse confirmed that this programme is well on its way with a number of interested parties.
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Industry veteran Fonehouse Group chairman Clive Bayley has announced that he and Lee Skinner CEO TechHouse Managing Director will now be fully focussed on the new business in the Group, whilst new Group CEO Stuart Joce takes over the running of all Fonehouse Group activities.
Clive Bayley, Chairman of Fonehouse said: ‘I am really excited with our new brand TechHouse. It has taken a lot of thought and energy to get it to where it is today, ready to roll out across the UK. We have many new ideas behind TechHouse and they appear to be working better than expected. I have always been involved in trendsetting ideas.
‘Lee Skinner has also worked in fashion and tech so together we are coming up with some crazy ideas to keep TechHouse fresh and ahead of the game. Having Stuart Joce taking over the day-to-day running of Fonehouse has been a great help. Our sales and profitability are already on the up and the management structure is now robust enough to take on the “New World” challenge in mobile. We have also just moved our head office over the river to Battersea, so I guess you can say that we have crossed the Rubicon.’
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