Orange closed two old stores in Cardiff city centre to make way for the new, four-storey, high-concept outlet, which is 400 square feet larger than the average Orange store.
The ground floor is reserved for sales and upper floors for offices and training rooms. Orange said even the canteen and locker room in the new store is larger than some old outlets.
The new shop is set up to showcase Orange’s full range of communications solutions. It features seated customer service booths, handset and broadband demo stations and prepay top-up points. Its layout is “future-proofed”, according to Orange, which means each booth and bay can be moved easily or replaced according to sales trends.
Orange head of retail Sian Doyle said: “This store is the future and will be the model for other store re-fits. We are no longer just a mobile phone provider. We are broadening our converged offers. We need to make sure that we future proof our stores and give them the ability to be flexible, so the model can be followed in stores whether they are business- or consumer-focused.”
She added: “Some of our stores are nearly five years old, so we have to keep moving with the times. The industry moves so fast and so does the high street, so this is just a natural evolution.”
Ten new stores on the same model will be completed between now and Christmas. Fifty old stores will also be refurbished this quarter. The new black signage on the Cardiff store will be rolled out across the entire Orange retail estate.
“Cardiff was chosen because it gave us the opportunity to rationalise the two existing stores into one big one,” said Doyle. “It’s not because we are pushing a more regional approach, as we have identified all key cities to be part of this.”
The Cardiff store will be the responsibility of Orange M4 area manager Alan Howard.
“Cardiff is one of our most successful cities. Until now, the two existing stores struggled to cope with consumer demand,” he said.
“Staff get measured on both sales and service. Because of the focus on service this new store enables, it will help balance those numbers. This store will be a centre of excellence for staff training. It has the necessary tools to be the number one Orange store in the UK.”