Orange launches new format retail stores

Orange today announced the launch of three new retail formats that could change Orange’s retail presence on the high street, while the first of its HMV concessions have opened up across the country.

These new formats will enable Orange to identify the best way to serve the 21st century customer and their evolving needs. This strategy aligns with Orange’s long term agenda set out by Tom Alexander, CEO, to deliver brilliant service, innovation and become the best loved telecommunications company in the UK.

The new retail formats include: First Community Store opened today in Monmouth, Wales; First Multimedia Store to open in Milton Keynes in September; First Orange franchise strategy launches and Orange expects to open 10 franchise stores in 2009.

Today, Orange will launch its first Community Store in Monmouth, Wales, which is designed to sit at the centre of the community, a place that provides support where people can drop in for a cup of coffee and advice about their telecommunications needs.

In September, Orange will launch its first Multimedia Store in Milton Keynes, an interactive store that encourages visitors to test Orange’s latest products and entertainment services. Aimed at tech-savvy consumers, this store demonstrates the best of Orange’s multimedia offering.

Orange is also moving into franchising with the opening of a number of franchises this year across the UK. The first franchise partner has been signed up with the first store opening this summer in Bridlington, East Yorkshire. It expects 10 franchises to open by the end of the year.

Replicating the look and feel of the recently refurbished Orange retail outlets, these franchises will launch in places where Orange doesn’t currently have a presence – improving the customer experience by making it easier for consumers to visit a local Orange store.

Orange concessions have just opened in HMV stores in Glasgow Silverburn, Plymouth and Teesside Retail Park, with the Oxford Street concession due to open in the flagship HMV store in early September. For the first time, Orange has a dedicated Orange space in the entertainment retailer’s stores, with a focus on music, games and video mobile handsets and devices.

The partnership follows Orange’s plans to drive the usage of multimedia and entertainment services as currently non-voice services account for 24% of Orange UK revenues. In total, 20 HMV stores will be selling Orange products by the end of August and up to 100 have been earmarked to take the store within store approach by Christmas.

Sian Doyle, head of retail, Orange UK said: “At Orange, we put customer service at the heart of our business and we are fully committed to meeting the changing needs of the 21st century customer. For us, this means tailoring our services and products to meet customer needs – whether they are a tech-savvy teenager, a working mother or a pensioner. By trialling different store formats we aim to identify the best and most successful ways of serving the personal requirements of our diverse customer base and not deliver a one size fits all approach to our customers.”

Doyle continued: “High street retailing in the UK needs to evolve and diversify to better meet customer needs. At Orange, we aim to create an enjoyable shopping environment that offers the latest technology and highest standard of customer service for everyone to enjoy at their own convenience. Through these new formats we will be able to gauge consumer appetite for different formats which will ultimately shape our future retail strategy and change how mobile and broadband businesses operate on the high street.”

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