The independent retail sector has taken quite a battering in recent times. Butchers, bakers and candlestick makers have all been run out of town as the multiples have tightened their grip.
It is the same, of course, in the mobile industry, where dealerships have been in a long, demoralising struggle with the big network shops and large chains like Phones 4U and The Carphone Warehouse.
The networks hold all the cards – they construct the talk plans, as well as the handset subsidies and pay structures around them. They invariably offer better deals to consumers themselves and have multi-million pound marketing budgets to drive footfall. Only those with financial muscle, backed by economies of scale, can compete and succeed, it seems.
Some dealers are sticking bloody-mindedly to the sector they know best, grinding out any sale they can. Some are simply shutting up shop altogether, while others are turning to new revenue streams to check the shortfall in contract subscriptions and prepay sales. Mobile News set out to discover how the latter, residents of the indirect channel since its heyday and battle-worn to a man, have fared by attempting to move out of their comfort zones to diversify their offerings.
Full story in Mobile News
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