Vodafone challenges EE with 150 new stores

Oliver Smith
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VODAFONE is set to go on a high street spending spree, splashing £100m on opening 150 new retail stores over the next 12 months it announced today.

Vodafone’s high street presence has lagged behind EE ever since the rival network was created from the merger of T-Mobile and Orange in 2010, leaving the new telecoms brand with almost 600 stores.

Today’s announcement will push Vodafone to over 500 stores in the UK, and create over 1,400 jobs as a result.

“This year we’ll invest more than ever before to provide our customers with the strongest network and best services in the UK,” said Vodafone’s new UK chief executive Jeroen Hoencamp.

“We’re also committed to putting our brand and our people where our customers want us: right at the heart of their high street and shopping centre,” added Hoencamp.

Prime Minister David Cameron called the creation of jobs in the announcement a: “fantastic vote of confidence in the UK workforce from a company investing for the future to harness the next generation of digital services.”

Rival operator EE is planning to hire an additional 1,000 staff this year to bolster its own customer services in the UK.

Retail stores have become crucial for mobile operators as customers call for a higher quality of customer care for their vital mobile devices.

Over 95 per cent of UK households now use a mobile phone, with 15 per cent relying solely on a mobile for phone calls, according to Ofcom.

The first stores to open as part of the expansion will be in Notting Hill, Fulham, Walthamstow, Wembley and Ilford.