With COVID-19 vaccines rolling out at a quick rate across the UK, the mobile carrier O2 has decided to spend £4.4 million on its high street shops anticipating increased footfall. According to its research, 62% of respondents missed going to physical shops – that’s 12% more than when people were asked last July.
O2 said that the £4.4 million investment will ensure that the shops are ready for a new generation of shopping. The firm has already spent £3.1 million since January to improve its stores and it is expected to spend a further £1.3 million by the middle of the year. The money is being spent to make greater use of shop space and to buy new furniture. The lighting in the stores has also been replaced with LED bulbs to reduce carbon emissions.
Its stores at The O2, Manchester, Liverpool, and Birmingham are also receiving a holographic technology upgrade. At the front of stores, customers will be able to interact with O2’s mascot Bubl for a better shopping experience, it will also give customers demonstrations of new products.
Commenting on the store upgrades, O2 Director of Sales and Service Gareth Turpin said:
“We know that customers are more comfortable than ever with online shopping. But that’s only part of the picture – and we’ve heard loud and clear the benefits that high street stores bring. Our knowledgeable staff are on hand with advice, and products are available to try out before you buy.
Now we’re making sure our stores are ready for what customers really need – and we’re committed to supporting the British high street as lockdown lifts.”
When O2’s stores re-open, it will be deploying a virtual queuing systems that will send text messages to users when they can enter the store. NHS and care workers will be able to show their ID badges to skip the queue and speak to an advisor right away.