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Vodafone bucks the trend by opening new UK high street stores

Vodafone bucks the trend by opening new UK high street stores

Vodafone is extending its franchise operation to include at least 24 extra premises by the end of this year

As part of its franchise programme, Vodafone will fit old vacant premises out as new retail stores. This reflects Vodafone’s ongoing investment in its retail presence to help customers get the most from its new services, including 5G and unlimited mobile data plans, by providing in-person support and advice.

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With online and traditional shopping habits merging, Vodafone offers the best of both worlds. Customers are increasingly using Vodafone’s digital personal assistant, TOBi, and the My Vodafone App to research products and services on their smartphone or PC and then following up with a visit to a store to make the purchase.

The new stores – the first two of which opened last month in Morecambe, Lancashire, and St Austell, Cornwall – used vacant retail outlets to help breathe life into high streets blighted by closures and empty stores. Vodafone will offer local entrepreneurs the chance to manage the new stores from day one and earn a commission under Vodafone’s franchise operation.

This is the first time that Vodafone is extending its franchise operation to include empty shops. There is no upfront cost to the franchisee and they are given a store that is stocked with the latest smartphones, wearables and connected devices.

Vodafone’s stores attract more than 20 million visits per year and account for the majority of its sales. 70 per cent of pay monthly mobile sales come from its retail outlets. More than a third of Vodafone’s existing 400 plus stores now form part of its franchise programme, with more than 50 added already this year.

Nick Jeffrey, chief executive officer of Vodafone UK said: “As a business with its roots in the UK, we are keen to do what we can to help local communities, whether that is giving local entrepreneurs the opportunity to be their own boss of a retail store or extending our network to remote areas.

“New services have helped us become the fastest-growing home broadband provider this year and attract thousands of new mobile customers every week. With this momentum, we are looking to extend our high street presence so that we can provide face-to-face advice and support to even more customers.”

Image: Lee Beer, Vodafone franchise store in St Austell, Cornwall

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