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Vodafone’s store in Parliament Street, York, has become the 100th in its franchising partner agent programme, with husband and wife Alistair and Sarah Matheson getting the keys to the shop on 1 March.
The Vodafone UK partner agent programme offers entrepreneurs the chance to run their local store. They receive the backing and support of one of the most recognised brands in the UK, while having the freedom of being their own boss.
Sarah says: “We’re really excited to become partners for Vodafone, and it's even more exciting that our store is the 100th to launch. I think the opportunity is fantastic and gives existing store managers like myself the opportunity to take the reins and create their own future as an owner, but still with the backing of a great brand. We can't wait to see what the future holds for both my business and the partner agent programme.”
One of the most appealing reasons is the chance to be your own boss and make the move to retail business owner. Not only does this offer more autonomy, but by taking responsibility for the performance of your own business you also unlock uncapped earning potential. In addition, there are plenty of future opportunities to grow your business further, as demonstrated by several of Vodafone’s existing partners who have added to their portfolio by taking on a second store.
Another fantastic reason to become a partner, and something that really sets its model apart, is that Vodafone does not ask for any upfront fees. All it asks for is that you can demonstrate you have enough funds to run the store for the first three months upon opening, which tends to be between £60,000 and £100,000.
Another benefit that sets Vodafone’s model apart from other opportunities is the level of support it offers to franchise owners. You’ll be taking over a business that’s already up and running – stocked, staffed, selling – and backed by the globally recognised Vodafone brand. All partners benefit from the existing support channels in Vodafone’s estate; that means IT support, an escalation desk, training and a dedicated HQ team. Essentially, it’s in Vodafone’s best interests for its franchise stores to succeed – so it does all it can to ensure that you do.
Franchising stores are allowing Vodafone to become more local to the communities it serves, which means it gets feedback about what these communities want and how it stays pertinent to them. This gives Vodafone confidence that it is maintaining a strong high street presence to serve its customers locally with the products and services they want.
The programme continues to go from strength to strength
With the achievement of the 100-store milestone and the continued growth of the partner agent programme, Vodafone wanted to ensure there was a dedicated focus for new and existing partners over the coming year. To achieve this, it has appointed Chris Wilkins as head of franchise, who will be managing the franchise strategy moving forward.
Chris started his role at the beginning of February. He brings with him a wealth of retail experience from working with some of the biggest retail brands, including Amazon, Asda, Tesco and Carphone Warehouse.
Chris says: “It’s an exciting time for the Vodafone partner agent programme. I am super excited to be leading the project as we aim to get from our current position of 100 partners to our ambition of 200-plus. I have always aimed to deliver a strong sales and commercial performance with whoever I have supported throughout my roles, and I will continue to support our partners with this aim to grow sales and revenue for both our businesses.
“Vodafone is a well-known global brand and with that comes a level of expectation from our partners and prospective partners. I want to make sure that we achieve these expectations by creating a best-in-class programme that is admired and recognised within the franchise arena in the UK.”