3, the third-generation (3G) mobile phone network, has bought 95 stores from O2 to continue its high street expansion. The deal will extend the company’s portfolio of standalone stores to 150.
The 3G operator, which also has 133 Superdrug and Selfridges concessions, has bought 73 The Link stores and 22 O2 outlets, which will be refurbished and rebranded to 3. All permanent employees of The Link stores being acquired will be transferred to 3, although all O2 staff will continue to work for O2.
The new stores will have dedicated entertainment displays to encourage customers to try mobile and media services, including mobile games, mobile TV and mobile music.
3 sales director Marc Allera says: “This strengthens our direct sales channel, giving the 3 brand a major presence on high streets across the country and helping us to further develop our relationship with our existing customers.”
O2 bought The Link from Dixons Stores Group earlier this year and has been disposing of stores that do not fit its portfolio.