Vodafone to open 150 stores as UK investment hits £1bn

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The operator will create 1,400 new retail jobs over the next 12 months

Vodafone is to open 150 new stores in the UK as part of its largest capital investment programme to date.

The operator will create 1,400 new retail jobs and raise store numbers from 354 to 504 as part of a £100 million investment in the UK’s high streets. The expansion puts Vodafone comfortably ahead of Three (around 350 stores) and O2 (450) but behind EE (currently 570).

Three of the stores have already opened, in Ilford, Fulham and Perry Barr. The following locations will be next: Notting Hill, Walthamstow, Wembley and Bicester.

The move is part of Vodafone’s plans to spend an unprecedented £1 billion in 2014 on improving its UK network and services – with the aim of providing 98 per cent indoor and outdoor population coverage (across 2G, 3G and 4G) by 2015. Vodafone spend just over £900 million in 2013.

Across Vodafone Group, the company is spending £7 billion across two years on extending its 4G services and unified communications offering. CEO Vittorio Colao said ‘Project Spring’ will help Vodafone differentiate itself from other operators.

Vodafone UK chief executive Jeroen Hoencamp said: “This year we’ll invest more than ever before to provide our customers with the strongest network and best services in the UK. Our £100 million retail investment this year will increase our ability to serve our customers better with highly skilled personal advice and support in 150 brand new locations.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “This is a fantastic vote of confidence in the UK workforce from a company investing in the future.”

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