5/7/2008 11:05:00 AM
T-Mobile to boost its number of stores to over 300
T-Mobile will increase the number of its stores to over 300 by Christmas, and is in the process of implementing a new interactive theme in all outlets.
The operator’s new retail director, Andrew Coull, who began the role last month, is overseeing the changes.
T-Mobile is planning to increase its store presence from the current total of 273, in an attempt to close in on O2’s 450 stores, as well as Vodafone and Orange, both of which have 350, Coull revealed to Mobile.
He said: ‘We are changing the in-store layout to give customers a more interactive experience.’
The stores will emulate the style of the Apple and Nokia flagship stores, where the emphasis is on letting customers experience devices without being subjected to hard-sell tactics.
The changes have already been implemented in T-Mobile’s flagship store on Oxford Street, with the introduction of an ‘experience table’. The feature offers touch-screen monitors as an aid for employees explaining tariffs or for customers to use on their own. Customers will also be able to try out live handsets, which will come with Sim cards to enable them to make calls on the devices.
Coull said: ‘I hope to roll out the concept of the experience table to the T-Mobile stores that have sufficient space to house the feature.’
The plan is likely to please manufacturers, who have been keen to encourage operators and retailers to display live handsets in their stores.
However, there has previously been reluctance from the high street to offer this due to the risk of theft.
Coull admitted this was an issue and said the operator ‘did lose some’ handsets to thieves, but he believes the benefit of allowing customers to use live handsets outweighs the cost incurred from the theft of phones.