Vodafone vs The Link

Vodafone has ended its post-pay airtime contract with The Link because it no longer sees the high street chain as a key part of its indirect strategy.
The Link will stop connecting customers to Vodafone on contract from September 1. It will, however, continue to sell Vodafone pre-pay.
Vodafone put the break-off down to its increased focus on its own retail estate, a third of which will be redesigned in the coming months, and other direct sales routes. Vodafone expects to make up the volumes through its own sales outlets.
Vodafone is the first network to pull its post-pay airtime contract from the retailer, which was purchased outright by O2 for £30m in June.
O2 is in the process of divvying up The Link’s retail estate. It will keep the prime cuts, comprising 97 stores out of a total 291, for itself. Those it has no use for – because they are located in close proximity to better-sited O2 stores or are not considered commercially viable – will be sold to rival phone retailers. Most rival chains have expressed an interest in the remaining sites.
O2 will retain staff from all 97 Link stores under the same, or better, terms of employment. The Link staff are protected by the Transfer of Undertakings, Property and Employees [TUPE] legislation, and retailers that purchase the remaining stores are expected to take on staff under the same terms. The Link managing director Nick Wood will continue in his role until March next year, the deadline for the transferral of the estate.
O2 is understood to have identified 44 sites for relocation – meaning O2 will dispose of either an O2 or a Link outlet where O2 and Link stores are located in close proximity to one another. O2 does not want to offer these sites up for sale to rival phone stores to keep competition in the immediate vicinity at a minimum. In the case of relocation, O2 will transfer staff at the store that is shut down to the site that remains open.
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