Fonehouse changes beneficial


Fonehouse has denied that the slow down in the roll out of its franchise programme is detrimental to its development and insisted that its new quality over quantity approach will see it be a lot more successful.

At the start of the year the retailer had set a target of having 100 franchise stores open but has trimmed this down to 75 in light of recent closures to low-performance stores. Four stores have recently been shut whilst four more have opened. Fonehouse currently has 52 franchise stores and has plans to open up to 10 more in the next few months.

However Fonehouse managing director Clive Bayley said the reduced target was not a blow to the programme but in fact a big step in the right direction.

“One thing I want to make clear is that in no way is this a step back for us, it’s actually a massive step forward,” he said. “We’re raising the bar for the partners and now that we have a critical mass, we can afford to be choosy. We want there to be no difference between the traditional Fonehouse stores and those run by franchise partners. They should all have exactly the same look and feel about them.

“I’m not obsessed with numbers. The most important thing is this franchise programme oozes quality, so I’d rather have 75 top-quality partners working for us than 100 mediocre partners.”

Fonehouse will also hold its next partner conference on May 20 at the Hunton Park Hotel in Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire. Over 50 of the retailer’s partners are expected to attend, with a further 25 interested parties also attending.

Fonehouse sales manager Andy Lockwood said: “This is a massive thing for us and we’ll be laying the foundations down as to how the programme is going to accelerate this year.”