5/29/2008 9:55:00 AM
Tesco at contract landmark
Tesco is closing in on 1,000 contracts per month, as it looks to establish itself as a major player in the contract market.
The supermarket is understood to be ahead of its target set for the end of the year, making huge strides with its standalone telecom stores which it has placed at the centre of its strategy this year.
Tesco has struggled in previous years to find a solution to sell postpay in its ‘self-select’ retail format, but its telecom centres have provided the catalyst to build contract sales.
More than 20 standalone Telecom Centre stores have already been opened, and the company is believed to be honing in on a target of 70 specialist telecom stores by the end of the year.
Standalone telecom stores are expected at all of Tesco’s large ‘Extra’ stores.
In the context of the wider market, 1,000 contracts per month won’t worry the likes of Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4u in the short term; however, the level of connections comes close to medium-sized chains such as JAG, Intek and Fonehouse, as well as large outbound call centres.
Tesco’s growth in the contract market is particularly significant given the sharp decline of the dealer market in recent months.
A source within the networks said: ‘They are certainly becoming a serious player in contract; the format is working for them. Once they scale up to all of their Extra stores, they will really start hurting people.’
Another source said: ‘Given the brand and the footfall, I’d say they’re not even
at half capacity for their existing footprint. The signs are ominous for the competition.’
Tesco has already opened new Telecom Centres this year in Watford, Hatfield, Solihull, Newport, Purley, Stockton, Wigan, Sutton, Talbott Green, Romford and Bursledon.