Unique said last week it will bolster its team on securing new non-specialist contracts, having just installed Andrew Evison as account manager for Tesco Mobile. Chief executive Andy Tow said: “Andrew has experience in grocers and multiple retailers, and we’re in discussions with several of these. We are also talking to well know online retailers and will expand our staff as necessary.”
Meanwhile, accessories distributor Kondor, which already supplies Argos, Woolworths, Sainsbury’s and John Lewis, is targeting Tesco and Asda contracts. And new Kondor business director Simon Hassell, who joined from Dextra, is looking to appoint five more staff to Kondor’s non-specialist team. Hassell said: “I’ll focus heavily on getting more nonspecialists on board and growing the team with the addition of four or five experienced account managers.
“I’ll be looking at the likes of Tesco and Asda. They’re not too experienced in mobile and I’m confident we can help them get accessories into the market place. There has been extensive planning within Kondor for this new area and we will be demonstrating to retailers how we can offer a truly added service.”
Activity in non-specialists shows a new focus on mobile. Currys said last week it will be rolling out ‘mobile communications zones’ across its 550 UK outlets. Trial zones are already running in Manchester, London’s White City and Bournemouth. The zones will showcase prepay tariffs from 3 and, down the line, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Orange. Handsets and Sat Nav systems will also feature.
Budget prepay manufacturer Fly Mobile is set to release a range of touch-screen slider handsets exclusively through two major non-specialist retailers next month – including the 3.2-megapixel SLT200. Fly said the SL600, a two-megapixel cameraphone made exclusive to Woolworths two months ago, has sold out. The pink SL500i, available through Argos on Virgin Mobile, is also on reorder. Fly has also produced the Virgin-branded Lobster 320 with integrated camera in black and pink for Virgin, Argos and Phones 4U.
Asda is looking to undercut and steal market share from rival prepay operators over Christmas. Asda recently rolled out its MVNO to another 136 stores, bringing its total to 236. Asda head of mobile Ted Cadogan said the quick store roll and success of its web sales business will see it enjoy a bumper festive period: “Christmas will be very competitive, but we’re relishing it. Ours plans will be very, very aggressive.”