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Fonehouse revamps store look and brand

Paul Withers
February 1, 2011

Retailer transforms its shop look and brand in bid to rival other leading high street retailers, with details documented in Channel 4 programme to be screened tomorrow at 9pm

Fonehouse has revamped its shops and brand in a move it said would firmly position itself as a major force in the mobile industry.

The retailer said the new in-store concept has been launched to create a “strong national brand with a consumer friendly image and service back up”.

Fonehouse had embarked on a store re-fit programme in its Clapham outlet in London, which was developed to incorporate live demo handsets bays with the aim of providing a more interactive customer experience. Whilst that was ongoing, discussions took place regarding the development of the current Fonehouse brand.

The company said the new brand identity comes from focusing on the ‘house’ part in its name. It said provides a warmer and homelier feel to customers which is replicated through the removal of the standard white walls, grey slatwalls and front desks, opting instead for light coloured wooden benches and exposed brick walls.

Fonehouse has also instilled a ‘sit down and relax metality’ to replace the ‘over the counter’ service style previously employed. The staff dress code has also changed with employees now wearing jeans and jumpers. Fonehouse said the objective behind this was to make customers feel more at home.

It has employed a tribe system for handset that has been developed which categorises mobiles by who they are designed for, such as using wording like ‘Fones to Talk and Text’ and ‘Fones Which Can Do Everything’. These tribes are represented throughout the store through dedicated bays and information on individual handset cards.

Standard posters have also been replaced by 42-inch LED screen located in store windows, which display animated content featuring current Fonehouse offers and promotions. Live interactive handsets are located along the side wall and tables located in the centre of the store. Housed on the central bays are 20-inch touchscreen television screens which provide information on the products in store as well as enabling the user to compare different handsets and tariffs.

The new store look and feel has been launched in on of Fonehouse’s flagship stores located in Angel, North London, and now becomes the template for all Fonehouse stores.

Fonehouse has also replaced its original pink and grey logo with one that sports black and white in a curved edge font against a khaki themed background. Again, Fonehouse said this creates an aura of a friendly and welcoming environment.

The developments of the Fonehouse brand and in-store experience will be highlighted in an hour-long documentary entitled ‘Mary Portas: Secret Shopper’, to be screened at on Channel 4 tomorrow (February 2) at 9pm. The programme is dedicated to Fonehouse, where Portas examines poor levels of service in the mobile industry and how Fonehouse has developed its business to combat this.

Fonehouse managing director Clive Bayley said: “We now have an in-store concept which will allow us to compete with the major retailers on the high street. Combining this with increased manufacturer and network relationships, 2011 is going to be yet another year of huge growth for Fonehouse.”

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