Speakers’ Corner: Dealer union

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The dealer epitomises all that was there before the mobile superstores came in – good quality service and value, the place for impartial advice, if your phone broke, for any after-care you might need.

These days it’s a case of ‘spot the dealer’, thanks to the dominance of the networks, who all have hundreds of stores already and are stretching out further across many channels.

And then there’s the trauma that the ‘old bastion’ of dealers such as JAG with its VAT issues  and Fonehouse’s restructure.

I’m not saying that changes in the industry are spelling the demise of dealers, but when you hear that Tesco is going to be ranging eight additional smartphones, it tells you something of where the industry is moving.

Until recently, smartphones were an area that were typically a dealer’s specialisation, and all you need to do now is go down to Tesco and pick one up with your groceries.

And further changes are happening to make the high street more competitive, such as Phones 4U hooking up with Currys and Carphone’s venture with Best Buy.

In light of all these changes, dealers don’t seem to have a lot going for them.

Across the UK, more independent dealers are closing and giants like Carphone keep opening new stores. So the question I have for dealers today, is what are you going to do about this?

Full article in Mobile News issue 448 (September 21, 2009).

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