1/21/2010 10:48:00 AM
Vodafone opens business store to target SMEs
Vodafone is to launch a chain of dedicated business stores
across the UK, if a trial in London is successful.
The trial is underway at a brand new 'Vodafone Business' store in
Cheapside, east London.
The business store is targeting small and medium sized businesses
(SMEs), after market research showed that up to 5,000 SMEs are
within a five minute drive of the store.
A chain of Vodafone Business stores could be launched as early as
May this year if the
trial is successful.
Vodafone UK's SME chief, Jo Werker, told Mobile that the trial
will run for three to six months. She added: 'After that, we will
take the learning from this store and see how it influences our
overall strategy on the high street. We are keen to know what
SMEs want on the high street.'
Werker said, if successful, the business stores would be located
'wherever there is a market opportunity for SMEs'.
The Cheapside store is already reporting a good level of sales,
The store staff are specially trained SME advisers and technical
experts who are able to help business customers with technical
queries, problems and low-level diagnostic faults and repairs.
Customers are also able to talk to in-house business advisers in
dedicated demonstration areas. The store has prominent displays
of all Vodafone's SME business plans and products.
Vodafone will formally launch the store in February alongside a
high profile marketing campaign aimed at local SMEs.
Werker said: 'We are consistently hearing that SMEs want to be
recognised and treated as small businesses. They want us to
demonstrate that we understand their business.'
The operator insisted the Vodafone Business concept would not hit
b2b indirect channel dealers. A spokeswoman said: 'It will not
affect what our dealers do. They are still core to our business
but it is important to offer SMEs choice.'