Comment: Is Carphone still a specialist?


Carphone Warehouse’s store refit appears to have worked; at least according to our Mystery Shopper, who was suitably impressed with the massive, derivative Westfield store (click here).

Unfortunately, it couldn’t be measured against the latest O2 design. The network also claims to be spreparing a new ‘wireless world’, but O2’s Westfield site looked much like its others. You have to go to Manchester’s Arndale centre to see its impressive looking new store layout.

Still, Carphone dazzled due to size and choice – mobile is only one story at Carphone now, sharing floorspace with games consoles, laptops and televisions; it’s effectively the first UK Best Buy store, in miniature.

But will such diversification cost it in the medium to long-term? After all, what will Westfield shoppers associate Carphone with now?

Customers just wanting a mobile upgrade, or advice on the best deal, don’t want to be bamboozled with random stock; they want a specialist. Is Carphone’s future vision one of a specialist?