“Sometimes We Open, Sometimes We Close Stores”
This week, it was reported Vodafone was “pleading” with landlords to cut rents and in some cases abandoning stores where landlords refused to bargain, according to Fairfax Media.
A Vodafone rep told CN the reports are “false”, saying the telco announced a review of its retail operation in October last, so “nothing new to report here.”
“We constantly review our retail footprint. Sometimes we open, sometimes we close stores.”
The Fairfax report also shows an email to all store landlords from Vodafone’s national retail property manager, citing “significant losses” as a reason for a rental reduction.
The email states: ”this request is on the back of numerous store closures that have been performed in the last two years due to the significant losses that have been incurred from the impact of customers leaving. In conjunction with the above customer base loss there have been considerable revenue losses. It is hoped that these rental reductions are a final step in the recovery for 2014 and the near future.”
Vodafone has since sought to distance its self from the letter.
Its no secret Vodafone has been losing customers en masse since the Vodafail catastrophe of 2011.
Figures from Vodafone Group UK show its Australian subsidiary, which it owns 50% of, lost 584,000 mobile customers in the three months to Sept 30, blamed on “weak brand perception” following the Vodafail network crash in 2010-11.
The Vodafone store in Bondi Beach which has been in operation for several years closed recently as did at least one in Melbourne.