Tesco has already opened 11 standalone Tesco Telecom stores this year, signalling its intention to grow its share of the mobile market.
A Tesco spokeswoman confirmed that 11 Telecom stores were opened between February and March this year, taking the total number of Tesco Telecom stores to 20.
Sources say the target is around 70 standalone Telecom stores by the end of the year.
Tesco is regularly the third biggest retailer in the prepay market (behind Carphone Warehouse and Argos), and is understood to have a 15% share of the prepay market.
There are around 17 million prepay phones sold every year.
The flurry of openings come after an 18-month trial period testing the performance of the first nine dedicated telecom outlets, and tweaking the store proposition.
The new stores are in Watford, Hatfield, Solihull, Newport, Purley, Stockton, Wigan, Sutton, Talbott Green, Romford and Bursledon.
Tesco is also looking to recruit staff for its new standalone stores, and is opening up positions for its existing staffers from the supermarket, as well as new candidates who have ‘a flair for service and technology’, according to a spokeswoman.
The trial period on the first nine Telecom centres had raised the importance of customer experience and staff training, according to the spokeswoman.
Broadband, fixed-line phones as well as prepay and contracts are sold in Tesco’s Telecom centres.
Critics have said the complexity of contracts (network, tariff and cashback) doesn’t fit with Tesco’s ‘self-select’ supermarket format.The trials, however, are understood to have been successful, with more centres to be opened later in the year.