Phones 4U: dealing with the crunch

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Mobile News (MN): How has Phones 4U dealt with the credit crunch and the associated slowdown in retail?

John Welsh (JW): Of course footfall has reduced, but Phones 4U is different because it has never suffered from a shortage of people walking into our stores.

Considering the current climate, we’re doing very well and have a range of products that are exclusive to us and have many more coming out in the future.

Also, now, we’re not only selling mobile; there are many new exciting products out there – SIM-only and laptop deals are really doing well.

We have always focused very much on up-scaling sales and ensuring staff in store give excellent customer service, which has indeed helped.

MN: Phones 4U staff have told Mobile News sales targets have been reduced in store by around 30 per cent. Is this in response to a reduction in sales?

JW: We recognise that it has been tough on the high street, but have given managers an incentive.

The target has remained the same, but managers now only have to hit 70 per cent of that target to take home their bonus. Managers still need to hit their target, but we understand that less tools to drive sales will make it tough.

Full interview in Mobile News issue 421 (August 25, 2008).

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