John Lewis to start in-store smartphone sales

High street giant John Lewis has confirmed it will bring the handset fight to Carphone Warehouse, announcing plans to stock smartphones in store for the first time.

Having struck up a partnership with network provider Vodafone, the retail behemoth will start selling a number of the leading handsets, including the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge – through its flagship stores starting from August.

Kicking the trial off through its Cheadle store in Manchester, John Lewis will expand its in-store smartphone efforts to its London, Oxford Street outlet in late September.

Looking to keep things as simple as possible for consumers, the retailer will actively promote just two Vodafone tariff options, one affordable, low data plan, and a second deal for data-heavy users.

Those shunning the more traditional smartphone sellers in favour of a trip to JL will also see their new handset paired with a free two-year warranty.

“We’ve got a very strong technology business and being able to offer customers mobile phones is an important part of our connected home strategy,” Johnathan Marsh, John Lewis’ EHT Buying Director said.

He added: “We know from our website traffic and searches that customers are actively looking for mobiles from us, but it’s important we go into this market in a John Lewis way.

At the moment there are thousands of potential combinations of mobile handsets and tariffs on the market, which can be really daunting for customers and this is why we’re determined to bring John Lewis levels of excellence, simplicity and value to the mobile market.”

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Ahead of the in-store trial, Marsh has confirmed that John Lewis will sell 25 new SIM-free smartphone devices through its online channels with immediate effect.

Starting today, June 23, the retailer is hosting handsets from HTC, Sony, Motorola, LG, Samsung and Microsoft on its digital store.

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