UK retailer John Lewis aims to take on Carphone Warehouse by offering an alternative to the lack of competition found on UK high streets, now Phones 4u is no longer in business.
John Lewis will begin a pilot scheme at two trial stores, Oxford Street in London and Cheadle Manchester, rolling out the scheme to more stores if successful. The two stores will stock latest mobile devices and offer free insurance and two-year warranties on all handsets sold, including Apple iPhones, in a bid to stand out from the crowd.
As well as the free insurance and extended warranty, John Lewis will limit available tariffs on mobile devices to just two, further simplifying choice for consumers and streamlining the purchasing experience. Vodafone will partner up with John Lewis for the contracts, but to start things off 25 devices – not connected to any network – are available from the John Lewis website.
The retailer aims to have a range of mobile devices available in the two stores-within-a-store by mid-August, managed by staff from John Lewis and Vodafone. While tariffs will be limited to a low-data and high-data choice (unlimited SMS and calls with both), it's reported consumers will be able to pick up any Vodafone plan, should they choose to do so.