Vodafone UK has announced where the first wave of stores, in a 50 store roll-out plan to be completed by March 2009, will be located. There are 18 stores in the first wave of which four have already opened.
The sites vary from city centre locations, to smaller market towns and will create a total of over 1000 square metres of extra retail space, and 90 jobs. The new openings announced today will bring the total number of Vodafone stores in the UK to 365. Vodafone announced in August that it would boost the number of stores as part of its strategy and continued commitment to improve customer service and drive revenue.
Among the 18 stores there will be two new city centre outlets. In Newcastle a store will open at Grainger Street, bringing the total in the city to three, while Plymouth will get a second store at New George Street to complement the current one at Drakes Circus. London’s Westfield centre in White City saw a new store open on 30th October.
There will be five new stores in the South East and M25 region; Eltham, Walton-on-Thames and Wimbledon Village will have their first ever Vodafone stores while Bromley and Croydon will get a second store.
Smaller market towns and larger conurbations including Yate, Wells, Skegness, Chorley, Trowbridge, Northallerton, and Hove will also see Vodafone stores open for the first time. Three new stores have recently opened – Newmarket 28th October, Cirencester 5th November and Boston 13th November.
Tom Devine, director of sales, says “In August we said we would open up a further 50 stores to boost our ability to deliver great customer service and increase revenue. I’m very pleased that we have been able to secure 18 new prime retail locations all of which will open before Christmas. Our commitment to be accessible to customers and be there to offer help and advice when and where they need it remains strong. We hope to have the remaining 32 sites secured by the end of March 2009.”
Every store will offer the full range of Vodafone’s mobile products and services including contract and Pay as you talk mobiles, mobile broadband, top up and accessories through to help and advice. Each store is on average 60 square meters and will employ on average five full time advisors.
Tom Devine continues “What’s exciting about these stores is that we are not just meeting the needs of customers we are also meeting the needs of our own sales advisors who are looking for career opportunities. Around 70% of the managers who will be running these stores are those who have worked their way from trainee to assistant manager. I’m delighted that we are able to give these talented managers a new store, new customers and a new team to grow, and that we can help them on the career ladder. By giving these people opportunities to move on to bigger challenges we are also creating the chance for many more people to progress.”
In March, Vodafone launched its NVQ retail training programme open to every retail employee. To date over 1250 employees have joined the NVQ programme. There are no prerequisites to join the programme. There are six levels which together equate to 15 GCSE and 4 A-Levels. Vodafone is always recruiting, especially for the new stores, and anyone who is looking to join the exciting world of retail, or who wants to find out more about the benefits and qualifications they can gain while working at Vodafone should visit: www.faceofvodafone.co.uk
Negotiations to secure the remaining 32 stores continue and further details will be announced in due course.