Three upgrades its retail stores

‘Three’ will be shortly upgrading all its 330 retail stores and opening 70 new stores by 2015, as it wants to increase its customer strength to 10 million.

The plan follows the successful trial of its flagship stores in Birmingham, Middlesbrough and Kent early this year.

‘Mobile’ informed that during the trial sales increased remarkably.

The new store will be a combination of the three trial formats.

Though Three did not reveal the final design, it is bound to be modern with oak floors, oak furniture and fittings and with bright wall displays.

The trial format at the Bluewater store in Kent included a ‘discovery area’ and areas for customer support and for setting up contracts. There were three interactive pods for displaying smartphones of Apple, HTC, Samsung, RIM, Nokia, Sony etc. The forth pod was entirely for tablets.

The motive of Three is to strengthen its customer base. It may be recalled that during the last 18 months, the customer numbers rose by 18% to 8.2 million due to the operator’s reduced iPhone deals, ‘all you can eat’ data tariffs and better network coverage.

Three is also making an elaborate study of the relationship with its independent retailers. It had ended its relationship with Phones 4u all of a sudden two months back.

Sam Hart, the retail analyst at Charles Stanley informed that Three’s strategy is aimed at limiting the dependence on third parties like Carphone Warwehouse and Phones 4u. The operators can take charge the distribution themselves.

He said that three’s strategy is worthwhile at the current unhealthy economic situation, though it will affect the business in a number of shops.

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