O2 has opened a concept store on Manchester’s Market Street, with a second due to open in London’s Westfield White City later this month. With over 2,300 square feet of floor space, the stores are three times the size of a typical O2 outlet. The operator says the stores provide a new destination for people to not just buy a mobile phone, but to learn about and be inspired by the latest technology. They incorporate interactive ‘inspire zones’ and roving technology tutorials delivered by expert O2 Gurus, as well as lounge areas offering hot drinks and wireless mobile charging stations.
Launching the stores, O2’s GM of Stores, Bridget Lea, called for the industry to shake off the traditional mobile phone shop stereotype. She said: “While mobile phones are at the heart of the digital revolution, mobile phone stores are not leading this revolution on the high street. Traditionally, mobile phone shops have been designed to be very functional and can often be uninviting and uninspiring – somewhere people visit occasionally to make a purchase rather than visit frequently to learn and be inspired by the possibilities of technology. That’s exactly what we’ve set out to change. We’re re-writing the rule book and creating a new kind of mobile phone shop to help us serve our customers better.”
54 new jobs have been created at the Manchester and London stores through a targeted recruitment drive developed to attract top talent from both in and out of the sector, including people with experience in the fields of fitness, music and hospitality. Following O2’s 2014 move to reward all O2 stores employees for the service they give to customers, all employees will prioritise exceptional customer experience and be rewarded solely on the service they provide, rather than the sales they generate.