Christmas has come early in mobile retail with stores reporting a dramatic increase in footfall and a spike in handset sales in recent weeks.
Staff reported strong sales of accessories and prepay handsets, with some saying high-end devices on contract, such as BlackBerrys and the iPhone, were also doing well.
Carphone Warehouse reiterated the claims when it reported its results last week.
Speaking at Carphone’s interim results, Best Buy Europe CEO Roger Taylor said: ‘Over the past three or four years we have seen Christmas arriving in mid-December but it seems to have come early this year.’
Meanwhile, Carphone CEO Andrew Harrison added this week: ‘Despite the
backdrop of a tough market this year our teams across the business have worked
especially hard, to deliver probably our strongest Xmas line up ever.’
Phones 4u also reported strong sales and footfall. ?One manager said: ‘Last November, we only had 13,000 customers. This year, we had nearly 30,000.’
The independent retailer reported that touch-screens, such as the Samsung Genio and N97 mini, had experienced impressive sales: ‘BlackBerry continues to perform strongly, again supported by the fact that the Curve 8520 in white is exclusive to Phones 4u.’
One Carphone manager said: ‘I think this is going to be a massive Christmas. We have seen an increase in footfall – in one week it went up by 15%. We are mainly selling iPhone accessories.’
T-Mobile staff said they were briefed on offers for the seasonal period at a prepay event last weekend.
3 staff also reported an increase in footfall, with positive sales of the ZTE and HTC Hero handsets.
Vodafone said it had seen increased footfall since the October half-term, adding that smartphones such as the N97 mini, the BlackBerry Bold and its 360 offering had done particularly well.
Orange said it had seen an ‘encouraging’ 7% increase in footfall year on year last week.
Meanwhile, O2 reported that iPhone sales had risen since Orange broke its exclusive deal on the Apple device in November.
However, staff said mobile broadband sales have slowed compared with last year, which saw a spike in demand. Staff said good fixed-line broadband deals meant customers were shunning bundled mobile laptop deals.