Carphone eyes 40 wireless stores


Carphone Warehouse will have launched 40 new concept stores by April next year, with 20 set to roll out by the end of this year.

The roll out brings the total up to 44 ‘wireless world’ stores of which the majority will be store refurbishments.

It said the roll out was down to the success of existing wireless stores which have reported on average double the amount of footfall while tougher targets have been also been met.

It also said the stores which have in-store technical support Geek Squad ‘agents’ have sold double the amount of subscriptions to the service to date.

Carphone new business and multichannel director Andrew Brem said in cases where two small Carphone stores exist in an area, they will be shut down and replaced with a new, bigger premises where staff will rejoin.

Wireless stores have bays for mobile handsets, laptops, laptop accessories, gaming products, television packages and accessories, a Geek Squad technical support area and live demos.

“The wireless stores bring in a different kind of customer, someone who’s younger and more technology savvy,” said Brem.

“Computers are the main focus for the wireless stores because customers know us for our traditional business, so we want to bring across the message that we’ve also got a whole range of other products available.”

He said the stores also focus on educating customers on content.

“We’ve got an internal slogan: ‘kit, connection, content’ which explains everything we sell. The mural on the back wall of the new Richmond store has the caption ‘Open up the world’. We want to open up the world of content for customers and show them what their device can do.

“It’s important to be closely affiliated with the content providers such as YouTube, Facebook and Skype and have the branding in store because they know the brands and will relate the Carphone brand to the content providers.

Brem said when Best Buy Europe outlets are launched next spring, customers looking for a wider range of products will be able to access Best Buys’ online portal from Carphone stores.