7/23/2009 12:24:00 PM
Orange launches radical new retail strategy
Orange began a radical three-pronged strategy this week, including a franchise scheme that has been in the pipeline for six months.
The operator is aiming for 10 franchise partners by the end of 2009. The first is a dealer in Bridlington, near Hull in East Yorkshire.
The strategy follows O2’s franchise scheme, which started in November 2005 and now has 96 franchisees.
Orange will be looking for a combination of dealers and store managers for its programme, headed up by retail chief Sian Doyle.
The network wants to take its retail footprint to 440 by the end of the year, including 100 HMV concessions. It opened its first three HMV concessions in recent weeks in Glasgow, Plymouth and Teeside.
Orange is also looking to embed itself deeper into small market town areas with the opening of a concept ‘community store’ in Monmouth in
The shop will feature a kitchen, coffee mornings and a board listing local events. Staff will be encouraged to ‘go into the community’, giving talks in schools on technology and issues such as mobile bullying. Staff wages in the store will also be heavily skewed to service metrics rather than sales.
A large table will dominate the front of the store, where staff can sit with customers and solve queries around email, handset functions and billing needs. It follows Orange’s introduction of new systems into its stores that allow staff to solve issues that were previously only accessible by its call centres.
Doyle (pictured) said: ‘There are only 22,000 people in Monmouth and it’s our role to engage with that community.’
Orange is also opening a concept multimedia store in Milton Keynes, based around gadgets, with a particular focus on gaming. It aims to replicate in store the ‘real life’ experience of using phones, laptops and games consoles.