Thorn tests Radio Rentals revamp

Thorn is revamping seven of its existing Radio Rentals outlets and renaming them Radio Rentals Express in an attempt to modernise the brand.

The company wants its new stores to be strong retailers rather than showrooms and is making more goods available for immediate take-away – hence the name Radio Rentals Express. It is also modernising the look of the stores with wooden floors, chrome fittings and a more open design.

The company says it is piloting the new style stores but will not comment on whether the existing 520 stores would all eventually be rebranded.

“With this new look we are modernising the brand and changing the mix of goods we have

available,” says Mike Ryan marketing and commercial director for Thorn UK.

Thorn has pinpointed the rental of dishwashers and dryers as a growth area and is also hoping to capitalise on the launch of digital TV later this year with a larger range of widescreen televisions.

The rental market was hit hard last year by building society windfalls and the increased rate of insurance premium tax.

Thorn’s 11m Radio Rental account is under review. O&M and GGT are pitching, but incumbent WCRS is not repitching.

This week, the company revealed that it had received a preliminary approach that could lead to an offer being made for the Thorn group.

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