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Carphone Warehouse targets B2B sales through retail

Michael Garwood
July 20, 2011

Carphone Warehouse says it wants to become the number one player in the B2B market with the launch of its new in store and online business initiative

Carphone Warehouse has today (July 20) made its first steps to become a “major” player in the B2B market by offering business connections through its retail channels for the first time.

From today, business customers will be able to sign up to a business connection through the newly launched Carphone Warehouse website or through its direct call centres.

Carphone is investing “significant” amounts of money in digital advertising to promote the service across various websites.

In addition, the company is trialling B2B sales through 27 of its 820 retail stores based across the North and West regions of Yorkshire. It refused to name specific locations however. Staff in all stores will receive or have already received specific B2B training.

Carphone said it has added a significant number of staff internally for the new push in B2B over the past year in preparation for the launch.

Carphone Warehouse chief commercial officer Graham Stapleton said the trial is likley to last at least one quarter before being extended to more stores within its retail estate. Based on the success of the trial, the proposition will be extended to its other existing 820 retail stores.

Carphone Warehouse, who is working closely with all network operators for its B2B drive, says its proposition offers the widest range of handsets – including tablets and network choices to allow customers a one stop shop experience. Carphone is also offering a ‘network price promise’ guarantee on all tariffs, insisting it will “never” be beaten on price and value.

In addition, customers signing up in store will be able to use their device immediately, as part of its ‘walk our working’ promise to ensure customers have no issues with the initial set up.

Customers will also be given a 14 day coverage guarantee, allowing them to cancel their deal within this period should they need to. Customers will be able to exchange their device in the event of a fault through any of its 820 retail stores also.

Stapleton claims he is not aware of any other business  in the B2B space offering the same levels of service to business customers.

Stapleton said: “We want to be a destination for business customers however they want to shop. We will never be beaten on price on network tariffs in the business space, so when customers find the right deal they will know we will be the best.

“If they want to go on Google we want to be the number one on their search results. If they want to call direct we want to be the best in that channel. And if they want to go in a store eventually we want to be number one there too. Wherever the customer wants to go, we want to be number one in that space and if that means we have to be competing against others in the same space.

“We know we need to match and improve in these areas and fill in the gaps. Having the scale and the strength with the networks gives us a very distinct advantage to enter this market. A lot of brands would die to have what we have got setting up from scratch.”

Stapleton also confirmed there are no plans to consolidate or re-brand HSC at this stage.


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