Arcadia group cashes in on youth fad for mobiles

Top Shop is to sell mobile phones alongside clothes and make-up to cash in on the craze for mobiles among fashion-conscious teenagers.

Parent company Arcadia is also planning to introduce phones into menswear chain Top Man before Christmas.

Top Shop has so far installed pre-pay mobile phones concessions in five of its biggest stores – at Oxford Circus London, Bluewater, Lakeside, Manchester and Liverpool – and will launch them in other large stores this year.

The concessions are run by Electro, a company set up by a team of The Mobile Phone Centre franchisees to target 14- to 22-year-olds with a phone package that does not require credit-checks, contracts or a minimum age.

Stores will stock phone packages from all four UK mobile phone operators – Vodafone, Cellnet, Orange and One 2 One. Accessories, including covers, headsets and changeable phone fronts, are available in colours and styles that will vary according to fashion.

Top Shop assistants will staff the pink and white displays, branded with the Electro name and designed by Creative Action, where customers can choose a phone and then collect it from the main Top Shop till.

Electro director Gavin Simons says he hopes to add more Arcadia stores as distribution outlets. He adds: “There is room to grow. Arcadia is buying Miss Selfridge, so there are possibilities there.”

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