11/25/2009 12:40:00 PM
Phones 4u aims for high-end growth in 2010
Phones 4u expects to grow market share in 2010 by focusing on the high-end youth market of 16 to 30 year olds, according to CEO Tim Whiting.
Speaking to Mobile last week, Whiting said: ‘The overall economy will remain tough, but the mobile sector is relatively robust and consumers are still happy to spend a disproportionate amount of their disposable income on mobiles.’
Whiting expects margins to remain under pressure in 2010, but he believes Phones 4u has a real opportunity to grow its market share again, as it has every year since 2005.
He said: ‘We are not going to chase the low-end prepay market, although we will sell it. We are focused on the higher end market where we can add value and choice to customers, who are strongly into their handsets.’
Phones 4u pioneered the consultative approach and still spends up to an hour with customers helping them identify their requirements, Whiting said.
This approach has become ‘even more relevant’ because the advent of smartphones means customers need more help than ever, he added. The big change is that phones are mobile computers and are now the primary access to the internet and social network sites on the move.
Whiting said he believes that good service is the key to attracting and retaining customers. The firm pioneered the use of the Fizzback scheme linked directly to staff remuneration.
As a result, the company continues to pour money into staff recruitment and training. It now runs one of the largest NVQ programmes in the UK with 2,500 employees starting the scheme in the last 18 months.
Phones 4u is also continuing to invest in the brand by rolling out its store revamp programme. ‘We will have refreshed 90 stores by the end of November. Then we will halt over the Christmas period and start again in January. They should all be done by May 2010,’ said Whiting.