It seems retailers still can’t get enough of mobile phones. Despite many of the UK’s high streets absolutely saturated with outlets from Phones 4u, Carphone Warehouse and the networks Orange, Vodafone and O2 etcetera, non-specialists are still keen to flog the devices and their accessories.
In only the past week we’ve seen Tesco Mobile state its intention to move aggressively into the contract market with a push on short 12-month deals compared with the increasingly standard 24-month tariff agreements.
And DSGi has pushed the button on the opening of more Phones 4u concessions within its Currys chain as well as cutting the ribbon on the first such concession within its PC World fascia.
Asda is also getting in on the action with plans to open dedicated mobile centres at all ofits 36 supercentres and to possibly roll them out to some of its 300-plus smaller stores. This follows the scrapping of Asda’s two Orange concessions that failed to deliver an increase in footfall at the two stores.
There is no doubt that offering only a single network is not the way to go – hence the success of network-agnostic Tesco Mobile and the longevity of Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4u that have both prospered despite the massive store opening programmes of the networks.
As well as individually being able to only provide a limited offer, the reality is that each of the networks have parts of the country where their signal is pretty rubbish and so therefore they do little business in these areas.
Opening a concession in a supermarket in those areas would therefore not be the brightest of ideas. Sensible therefore that Asda knocked its Orange agreement on the head as quicky as it did.