Virgin Mobile Plans Retail Stores

Virgin Mobile has announced plans to develop a chain of own-brand retail stores. Virgin Mobile will open its first store at the Lakeside Shopping Centre in Thurrock towards the end of July.

The company has plans to open another two Virgin Mobile stores later in the year and a significant wave of new store openings throughout 2007. Virgin Mobile is recruiting 20 people to staff the first three new stores, and hundreds of new jobs will be created as the store expansion continues through into 2007.

Virgin Mobile has 119 specialist stores within Virgin Megastores and WH Smith, these stores-within-stores will continue to be a key part of the company’s retail presence and future plans with five new concessions opening this year.

“When Virgin Mobile launched we started selling phones in Virgin Megastores and our competitors said we’d never sell mobiles in record shops, but how wrong they were. We’ve always found that combining mobile phones with music and entertainment is a perfect way to engage Virgin Mobile customers. Our new stores will not only showcase the latest and greatest phones and technology but will also celebrate Virgin’s associations with music and entertainment.” Said Graeme Hutchinson, Virgin Mobile.

Virgin Mobile has been repeatedly mentioned as a potential purchaser of surplus stores from The Link, following its sale to O2 a couple of weeks ago. O2 operates a chain of retail stores and has an overlap with The Link.