Vodafone UK has opened its stores again in 65 locations across England and Northern Ireland. If all goes well, a further 300 stores could re-open their doors over the coming weeks.
On Monday 15 June, Vodafone retail colleagues opened their doors to customers for the first time in months. Since the lockdown they’ve been working from home supporting customers over the phone and via online webchat.
“We’re extremely happy to be back in the stores serving our customers again,” Kaiser Nawaz, Vodafone Oxford St Store Manager told Vodafone UK news.
“We know many people have found lockdown difficult, so it’s great that we can give them the face-to-face help that many of them want.
“We were really pleased with the number of customers coming back in.”
Last week, Consumer Director, Max Taylor, detailed all the steps Vodafone had taken to ensure the safety of retail colleagues and customers as the stores re-open following the easing of lockdown measures.
Before re-opening, Vodafone had consulted specialist retail teams to ensure all colleagues were happy with the approach. And in a survey, more than 1,500 employees strongly supported the safety precautions.
“The team feels extremely confident with the safety measures that have been put in place,” said Kaiser.
It was a point reinforced by Nick Jeffery, CEO, Vodafone UK, on LinkedIn: “Looking after the safety of our staff and customers is our number one priority.
“The fact is many of our customers prefer face-to-face support – we want to help them as best we can. And half our stores are run by franchisees who are self-employed – we want to help them get back on their feet as quickly as possible.”
As well as redesigning the stores to reduce the risk of infection, Vodafone has introduced a new concierge service to help key workers who need assistance quickly.
Customers who are self-isolating or who don’t want to visit a store for assistance can still receive support from home over the phone or using online chat via the My Vodafone app. Around 700 of Vodafone’s retail personnel will remain at home providing support to these customers.
In some instances, where stores are simply too small to reopen, Vodafone has installed kiosks at the front door instead. The company has also limited the number of stores that will re-open in London where public transport is the main means of reaching them.
Max Taylor said: “Our phased approach means we can offer a personalised, local service and start to re-boot the high street, while at the same time not forgetting those who still want to be helped from home.
“I’d like to say a personal thank you to all our colleagues who have shown resilience and adaptability in the face of huge change.”
- To read the full press release about the store re-openings, click here.