Devika: CPW’s 21 originals


A portfolio of 21 exclusive handsets represents a stonking return for the hard work its procurement department has put in these past six months with tier-one manufacturers.

Commercial director Graham Stapleton was set the explicit task of finding more exclusives when he was handed charge of its group-wide purchasing functions. And he has delivered at a crucial juncture for retail.

Not only does an exclusive, whether pure or first-to-market, preclude rivals from the same stock line, it offers shoppers a genuine alternative. Last Christmas was tough in retail, generally.

The mobile market, touted as recession-proof in the early days of this long economic slump, has been resilient, but hardly immune. Retailers have, as they do anyway, adapted their offers to reflect the climate.

Which means packing in value. But at the same time, the iPhone has done well regardless, because it is iconic and exclusive in a broader sense.

So, Carphone has segmented the consumer market and emphasised its scale to suppliers. It will pitch choice devices squarely at a range of demographics.

It is about arrow-like aim. Punters will not part with their money easily, or make rash purchases of luxury electronics, and so the need to draw in those that will is essential. Carphone has stock to differentiate itself.