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Press Release | 15 Jun 2020

Vodafone welcomes customers safely back to the high street

Vodafone welcomes customers safely back to the high street
  • Vodafone opens 65 stores today, followed by around 300 over the coming weeks.
  • New ‘concierge’ role in store will personally help customers and identify key workers so they can be helped quickly.
  • Social distancing and extensive cleaning and hygiene measures will be in place, in line with Government Covid-19 guidelines.
  • Extensive training and engagement has taken place prior to opening to make sure everyone returning feels confident in the measures in place.
  • 700 Vodafone store colleagues will be working from home to serve those who can’t (or don’t want to) visit their local store.

Vodafone is opening 65 of its stores to welcome customers who want face-to-face service back on the high street – with major changes to ensure everyone’s safety. These openings follow the four stores we opened in Northern Ireland last week.

A further 300 stores will be opening in the coming weeks, although some inner London stores will remain closed to avoid colleagues having to take public transport to get to work. For those customers who can’t or don’t want to come in to store, 700 Vodafone retail colleagues will remain at home providing support over the phone and via chatbots.  Customers can use Vodafone’s extensive self-service support on the My Vodafone app.

Customers coming in to our stores will be greeted by our new ‘concierge’, who will identify any key workers so they can get the help they need in a timely fashion.

We have been keen to do everything we can to make sure our colleagues are happy with the arrangements for bringing them back to stores, so we have been working closely with them to develop the plans and listening to their feedback.  They told us in our employee survey that they are very supportive of the measures we are putting in place.

To ensure our colleagues and customers remain safe, we are opening stores with these major changes:

  • Our new concierge role will help customers and identify key workers that may need to be seen sooner than other customers.
  • Stores will be cleaned using Citrox Protect which creates a barrier to the virus.
  • Stores have been re-organised to ensure social distancing.
  • No devices will be on display.
  • Retail colleagues will be given their own ‘station’ to be used ONLY by them.
  • Retail colleagues will be on a rota so they are always with the same colleagues.
  • Retail colleagues will be given their own stylus so they can help customers without having to touch their phones.
  • Alcohol-based hand gel will be placed at all entry points to the store.
  • Full PPE available for all colleagues (full face visor, face masks, gloves).
  • Stores will only be taking contactless and card payments.

We are discouraging our colleagues from using public transport, and we’re not opening stores where public transport is the main means of getting to work at this stage. And of course, anyone who is vulnerable will be able to continue working from home, serving those customers who want to access our online and phone support services.

Max Taylor, Consumer Director, Vodafone UK, said:  “Keeping our customers and retail colleagues safe is our number one priority.  This is why we have put in weeks of planning, taking time to talk to people returning to store and listening to feedback so everyone feels comfortable and has confidence in the measures we have put in place.

“We’ve seen in other countries, such as Italy and Spain, that some customers prefer to go in store rather than call us or chat online and we are keen to meet this need. 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.”

We closed our 412 stores at the beginning of lockdown and quickly re-deployed store colleagues to work from home to serve customers. Phone lines were diverted to managers’ phones and everyone was trained on webchat within a week. The training to equip people with the skills they need to meet the changing demands of the business has continued – colleagues returning have completed 13 modules covering operations, behaviours and wellbeing. Everyone returning to store will have completed five hours of additional training before they come back.

Our employee and customer safety is, of course, the top priority and Vodafone will keep a close eye on the situation and amend store operations where necessary.

To find if you’re local store is open please visit: https://vodafone.co.uk/storelocator  or see the list below:

Stores opening 15 June

AltrinchamExeterNorthampton 31-33 Abington St
AylesburyGranthamNorwich Merchants Hall
BexhillHarrow St Anns RoadNotting Hill Gate
Bluewater ExperienceHounslowNottingham Clumber St
BostonHull St StephensPontefract
BournemouthKettering Gold StRugby
Bracknell The LexiconKingston Clarence StRuncorn
Bristol ExperienceLancasterSalisbury
BromsgroveLichfieldScunthorpe
Burgess HillLincoln High StSevenoaks
CarlisleLiverpool ExperienceSheffield 18 Fargate
ChathamLondon Oxford St ExperienceSittingbourne
Chester Grosvenor CentreLondon StratfordSouthport
Chester-Le-StreetLoughborough Market StStroud
ChorleyLuton The MallSudbury North Street
CirencesterManchester Experience StoreSunderland
Clacton On SeaMarket HarboroughWalthamstow
DorkingMarlboroughWinchester
DoverMiddlesbrough Cleveland CentreWorcester The Shambles
ElthamMorpeth 
Epsom – Ashley CentreNewbury Northbrook St 

 

-ends-

Notes to Editors

For further information:

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: 01635 693 693

Twitter: @VodafoneUKComms

Website: https://newscentre.vodafone.co.uk/

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About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were also the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. As of October 2020, we have 5G in 57 locations in the UK and 193 across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland.

In September 2020, leading mobile benchmarking company, umlaut, named Vodafone as London’s best network for 5G. Our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population. And in October 2020, Vodafone was named Network Provider of the Year by readers of leading technology advice website, Trusted Reviews.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 15 UK towns and cities through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach.

For more information about Vodafone UK please visit: www.vodafone.co.uk.

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693

Email: ukmediarelations@vodafone.com

Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews

Website: https://newscentre.vodafone.co.uk

Vodafone Limited

Registered Office: Vodafone House, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN

Registered in England No: 1471587