Vodafone assesses Business Store rollout

Vodafone assesses Business Store rollout

Vodafone dealers dismissed fears that they will lose SME market share if Vodafone goes ahead with plans to roll out a chain of dedicated business stores aimed at the SME market.

The operator's plans, revealed by Mobile (see 22 January issue), could see Vodafone Business stores on every UK high street, if a trial store in London is a success.

However, dealers are confident the new stores would not threaten their business.

One said: 'The industry will always win. We have superior knowledge and service, and we are small businesses like them, so we know what they need. We can go into their businesses and we can cut tailor made deals and offer additional services that the network can't offer.'

Vodafone's market research found 5,000 SMEs were within a five minute drive of its City of London Business store, formally launched this week.

Ian Gillespie, MD of Fone Logistics, said: 'The idea could work in London and other large cities where there is a concentration of SMEs but not in more sparsely populated areas, so I don't see it as a threat. In addition, we are a service industry, which means we have the edge because we can bring service to the customer rather than them having to come to us.'

Vodafone's SME sales director, Rob Shardlow, said dealers would continue to play a key part in the SME arena.

He said: 'We know there are lots of SMEs that want to be served by similar, like-minded organisations.'

Vodafone Business Store

Vodafone's first dedicated 'Business' store formally opened in the City of London this week.

If sales go well the concept will be rolled out across the UK.

The Vodafone Business store is aimed at small and medium sized firms (SMEs). The operator has launched a targeted marketing campaign at local tube and train stations, cafés and shops to drive up footfall. It is also targeting 5,000 SMEs within a five mile drive of the store.

The trial will run for between three and six months. The store is staffed by specially trained SME advisers and technical experts. In addition, experts from handset manufacturers will be invited to give regular lectures to customers on how to get the best out of their products.

Written by Mobile Today
Mobile Today

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