Strength in numbers with an O2 franchise

A leading provider of mobile services to consumers and businesses in the UK, O2 is expanding through the implementation of a national franchise programme. Nicola Green reports

O2 has launched a UK-wide franchisee recruitment programme for O2 retail stores. The initiative is part of a broader programme to significantly expand its pan-UK store portfolio.

The franchise programme will offer selected individuals the opportunity to trade under the O2 brand in an O2 retail franchise outlet. By expanding the network of stores through franchising, the company believes it can combine the very best of the owner operator strengths of the franchisee with the strengths of O2's brand, systems, services and products, including the collective benefits of its own brand marketing and advertising programme.

The roll out is part of O2's commitment to put the customer at the heart of everything it does. The franchising model will allow O2 to continue to communicate with its customers in the most effective and engaging way, by putting more knowledgeable staff at the front line of the customer experience.

The combined O2 retail and O2 franchise store network is expected to become one of the largest mobile telecommunications retail portfolios in the UK. O2 has already had great success with a franchise approach in Germany, where it today operates over 300 franchise and partner outlets.

Mark Stansfeld, Sales Director for O2 UK, comments: 'Buying a mobile phone can be a complicated decision. It is important that customers can buy a mobile phone in an environment where they feel supported, can ask questions, can browse, and find out about forthcoming products and services. By increasing our store footprint we want to be able to offer all customers across the UK this opportunity regardless of location. Customer loyalty is more fragile then ever and the winners in the UK market will be those who keep and inspire their customers better than anyone else.

'O2 is one of the most successful network operators in the UK. We have 92 per cent brand awareness among our target customer group - the people who share our outlook and values, who see life as we do. Across our current 309 UK stores, we have a track record of turning our brand strength into sales.
We believe franchising offers an incredibly exciting opportunity for a customer focused business to engage with the O2 brand and the dynamic mobile market.'

All the proposed new franchise stores will be complementary to the existing O2 retail store portfolio and will not affect any current stores or indeed any that are planned under the existing expansion programme.

Every O2 franchisee will be supported by the O2 franchise team, whose focus will be to facilitate optimum performance and maintain the standards so critical to achieving O2 brand values.