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O2 boss argues for high street surviva

18 January 2013 - 10:54 by Graham Miller

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The last few days have seen two major casualties on the high street, with first HMV and then Blockbuster teetering on the edge of oblivion as they entered administration.

However, CEO of mobile network giant O2, Ronan Dunne, has argued that his company's high street outlets will be able to survive irrespective of the growth of safe shopping online.

Mobile News reports that Mr Dunne spoke out about the state of retail during an event held in London this week, stating that O2 and other providers will be able to adapt to shifting consumer habits and remain a strong presence on the high street and online.

He said that real world stores play a significant part in helping consumers to get access to the products and services offered by networks.

Mr Dunne said that Jessops, the photography chain which folded this month, made the mistake of pitching its stores towards a more boutique end of the market, which meant that they lacked the mass appeal that could have saved the firm.

Meanwhile, the mobile market is far broader, with devices ranged across multiple price points to help encourage those with varied budgets to spend cash at high street outlets.

An additional advantage of selling mobiles on the high street is that customers like to touch a physical device before they commit, according to Mr Dunne.

Of course, the growth in smartphone ownership in the UK is helping to hold up some elements of high street retail, since these portable devices allow consumers to compare prices via safe shopping online and then purchase products cheaply at bricks and mortar outlets.

Mobile network providers are better than many other companies when it comes to taking this multichannel approach and preserving all aspects of their operations.