THIS WEEK: Tandy takes on phone dealers

Tandy is moving further away from its heritage as a provider of own- brand accessories to ‘techies’ by launching special in-store communications units.

Tandy is moving further away from its heritage as a provider of own-

brand accessories to ‘techies’ by launching special in-store

communications units.



The units, to be branded Communications Centres, signal Tandy’s

commitment to take on high-street players such as The Link in the

burgeoning area of personal communications.



The centres, which will feature top brand names such as Vodafone,

Samsung and Motorola, will be operating in all of Tandy’s 348 high

street stores by the middle of November.



A TV marketing campaign is planned before Christmas to promote the new

service.



Despite the project’s large investment, Tandy has taken the unusual step

of not charging the companies for the high-profile positions they occupy

in its stores.



The company expects the centres will drive up sales of mobile phones,

faxes and telephones by as much as 50% within 18 months. At present,

telecommunications accounts for around 20% of Tandy’s UK sales.



By having a separate sales unit dedicated to this area, Tandy aims to

demonstrate to its customers that it can offer a broad range without

impinging on its position as a mainstream electrical retailer.



But Tandy will be up against tough competition from a number of

dedicated players.



The Link, owned by Dixons Store Group, has opened 62 stores and achieved

sales of pounds 21m since its launch in 1992. A further 50 stores are

planned for next year.



Neither will chains such as Carphone Warehouse give up hard-fought

territory to a relatively new competitor.



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