Vodafone and 3 Mobile will begin ‘co-branding’ at the retail level from July 21st after the companies formally tied the knot last year to form Vodafone Hutchinson Australia.
Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) will start the co-branding exercise by rolling out the entire Vodafone range of mobile phones and plans in existing 3 Mobile stores from July 21, 2010. Vodafone stores are also being refitted, but will not carry the full 3 Mobile range, this is consistent with the long term plan to fold the 3 Mobile brand into Vodafone Australia. In areas where there were both 3 Mobile and Vodafone stores that can be consolidated, the weaker store will have already been closed. Vodafone PR has confirmed that the co-branding exercise will result in ‘no jobs to be lost’ and no stores to be closed as a result of the co-branding exercise.
VHA was formed after the 3rd and 4th placed (by market share) Vodafone and 3 Mobile agreed to merge last year. The plan to multi-brand all 3 stores comes one year the merger to form VHA and follows a year of integrating back office, retail point of sale and customer service systems.
Nigel Dews, CEO of VHA expects the multi-branded stores to leverage existing locations and staff to better serve VHA customers.
“Our retail presence is a great strength of Vodafone and 3 and, for most of our customers, our stores are the public face of our brands. Investment in our retail network is critical, and ensuring we can make the most of the great locations and talents of our store staff is vital in ensuring we deliver the best possible customer experience,” said Nigel Dews, CEO of VHA.
“Until now, the merger and integration of 3 and Vodafone has essentially been behind the scenes, focussed primarily on bringing our people, our customer service capabilities and IT systems together. Now we’re providing our customers with a great choice of products and services that bring the best of both brands to their fingertips.”