5/30/2013 11:16:44 AM
Tim Whiting - group CEO, Phones 4u
A strong year of retail innovation from Phones 4u, whose former reputation as one of the flakier operations on the high street is now a distant memory. Strategically it is a much sharper operation than several years ago and it continues to be held in high regard for its open way of working with partners. Whiting has taken more of a hands-on role with the retailer on an interim basis, after the departure of UK head Mary Grant.
The business was voted retailer of the year at last year's Mobile Industry Awards but it has made a number of shrewd moves during the past 12 months to continue to thrive in a difficult high street. The retailer’s strategy is that it needs to spend its way through the recession, pledging its largest ever investment in staff, shops and systems during 2013.
Its Jump tariff, which offers customers upgrades every six months, has been seen as something of an agenda setter. O2 followed suit earlier this year with its O2 Refresh tariff, which breaks the cost of a contract into separate handset and airtime charges. The retailer is also creating some 240 roles across the company and spent half a million pounds revamping its Fort Dunlop training facility. The coming months will see Phones 4u put a greater focus on pushing its own Life Mobile MVNO instore, with a 4G proposition coming later in the year.