Phones 4u CMO working with Carphone Warehouse

Phones 4u’s former chief marketing officer Scott Hooton is working with Carphone Warehouse on a consultancy basis following the demise of his previous employer.

Former Phones 4u CMO Scott Hooton is advising Carphone Warehouse on its concessions in Currys PC World
Former Phones 4u CMO Scott Hooton is advising Carphone Warehouse on its concessions in Currys PC World

A Carphone Warehouse spokeswoman told Marketing Week that Hooton is advising Carphone Warehouse on turning Phones 4u concessions within Currys PC World stores into Carphone Warehouse stores-within-stores. The retailer hopes to use Hooton’s industry experience to ensure it creates stores that can rival those offered by the mobile networks.

Carphone Warehouse is also working with former Phones 4u chief operating officer Nick Fisher.

“We are working with Scott and Nick on a consultancy basis to help our business through the transition of transforming the Phones 4u concessions within Currys PC World into Carphone Warehouse store within stores. We value the expertise that Scott and Nick bring to the team,” she says.

Phones 4u was placed into administration last month after mobile network EE decided to end its contract with the retailer. Both Vodafone and O2 had already made the same decision, with Phones 4u chief executive David Kassler saying at the time that those moves left the retailer “without a business”.

It immediately closed all 550 of its stores, as well as the 159 concessions it ran in Currys PC World stores.

Carphone Warehouse has now opened 150 of its own stores in Currys PC World and plans to have transformed all Phones 4u’s concessions by Christmas. The retailer is also opening up stores-within-stores at other locations after Carphone Warehouse merged with Currys PC World owner Dixons Retail earlier this year.

The aim is to have 380 Carphone Warehouse stores-within-stores open in Currys PC World by the end of next year.

Carphone Warehouse is keen to take advantage of the demise of Phones 4u. Speaking at a recent analyst strategy day, its chief executive Graham Stringer called its rival’s downfall a “huge opportunity”.

Currys PC World is calling on the marketing insights of its Carphone Warehouse sister brand to become a true mobile retailer, CMO Gary Booker told Marketing Week last week.

“I’ve been working with my counterpart at Carphone [since merging] about work focused on our own customer bases. We’re both initially focused on our own Christmas activity but will start to work more closely next year. The insight we’re looking at together is how to make it easier for [Currys PC World] customers to search for new mobile products and also how we explain the technology to them,” he said.

Carphone Warehouse faces mounting competition from the mobile networks, which are increasingly opening their own stores. Vodafone recently bought 190 of Phones 4u’s stores, taking its total across the UK to almost 520.

Hooton has considerable experience of the mobile industry having started at the Caudwell Group, Phones 4u’s predecessor, in 1992. He has worked in a number of roles at the company, including as finance director, commercial director and chief commercial officer.

He was made chief marketing officer at the start of 2014.

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