Third-generation mobile operator 3 said yesterday that it plans to invest up to €15m as part of a plan to open 28 own-branded stores countrywide, creating up to 200 jobs in the process.
The company said it will open the stores in prime retail locations such as shopping centres and high streets.
Entitled “mobile media” stores, the new retail outlets will boast music play pods and benches, entertainment bays and chill-out areas that 3 says creates a space for customers to try out its products and services, whilst finding the right handsets and tariffs for them.
“By 2007 we will have up to 28 3Stores up and down the country, investing millions of euros in the market and creating over two hundred new jobs,” said 3 Ireland managing director Robert Finnegan.
“As Irish consumers look for more sophisticated mobile services like music on the move and football highlights, 3 is the first to meet that demand on the high street.
“With consumers here spending more on their mobile than any other country in the EU, our stores are specifically designed for this mobile-savvy market,” Finnegan added.
Finnegan said that the difference between the new 3Stores and the competing stores of other operators in the Irish market is they focus heavily on the brand rather than the customer experience.
3’s flagship store will open in the heart of Dublin with the first 3Stores opening in Cork and Waterford in November 2006.
The 3Stores were designed by Hutchison Whampoa’s International Brand Group, the architects of the 3Stores were RPA in the UK and the retail sites were acquired by Fergus Slattery & Associates.
As well as the physical stores, 3 has existing retail relationships with Xtra-vision, Carphone Warehouse, 3G stores as well as various independent outlets. This adds up to a current complement of 270 outlets selling the company’s products.
By John Kennedy
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