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End of the local telecom store? Not so fast


Telecom retail stores have driven communication service provider (CSP) company growth for years. In fact, they’ve driven more consumer wireless acquisition and renewals than any other channel.

But that was yesterday.

Success no longer means stores’ major function is to compete for the highest sales. Rather, local store footprints should vary.

Some may need to offer consumers the latest products. Others may be kiosks, where customers pick up or drop off a device. Others may be self-service outlets. And some will need to offer all of this.

Stores need to be part of a network of customer channels, each underpinned by digital technology.




Catchment models need to change. Retail stores should enable, not drive, a business model. If a customer experiments in-store but buys online, that is still a win. CSPs need to look more broadly at how a network of local stores, with different formats, drive overall sales and brand loyalty.

The “where” no longer matters. But the physical/digital mix does. In a world where seven out of 10 customers who start in a retail store close in a different channel, the right mix is key to success.

The funds for change are already in-house. Rationalizing the existing retail portfolio—downsizing formats as necessary and closing outdated retail outlets—frees dollars to invest in a more integrated digital/physical model. Also, digitally-enabled stores are vastly more efficient than traditional ones, freeing up funds to reinvest for the future.

1 in 4 customers use the store as a means of evaluating products 6 in 10 use the store to ask for advice


As nimble digital competitors turn up the heat—targeting new store openings in the hundreds and thousands annually—established CSPs need to find a way to reinvigorate their store footprint:

Get the digital/physical mix right. Analytics should point the way.

Silo-bust across channels. Customers should be able to pick up where they left off, from one channel to another.

Redefine success. Sales per square foot is no longer the measuring stick. Rather, how well each store format is meeting its designed purpose is what needs to be evaluated.

Rethink employee incentives. Redefining a successful store means redefining compensation strategies for staff.

Rethinking store formats and strategy can reduse costs by up to 35%



Nadine Abdallah        Connect with Nadine Abdallah's Profile/s on LinkedIn. This opens a new window.
Alex Alexa        Connect with Alex Alexa's Profile on LinkedIn. This opens a new window.
Daron Keskinian        Connect with Daron Keskinian's Profile on LinkedIn. This opens a new window.