Vodafone ousted from JB Hi-Fi stores

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 12:20 01/04/2014

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JB Hi-Fi will end the arrangement under which it has sold only Vodafone mobile products and will instead stock products from rival Telecom.

Telecom spokeswoman Julie Wagener said the new arrangement ended an exclusive partnership between the retailer and Vodafone that had been in place for seven years.

From next Monday, JB Hi-Fi would sell Telecom prepaid and monthly plans and prepay products from Telecom sub-brand Skinny in its 13 New Zealand stores, Telecom said.

It will also become the first mainstream high-street retailer to sell Telecom's fixed-line home broadband products in-store.

JB Hi-Fi New Zealand general manager Daryn Rickwood said he was keen on the direction Telecom was taking as it looked to deliver more digital and entertainment services on top of its existing network.

That was "one of the factors in the decision to partner with them", he said.

Telecom has begun bundling premium accounts from streaming music service Spotify with some of its mobile plans and add-ons and has an internet television service in the wings.

It is not the first time Vodafone has been ousted from a major retailer. Dick Smith announced in 2011 that it would stop selling Vodafone products in its stores and would sell only mobile products from Telecom and 2degrees.

At the time, there was speculation that Telecom and 2degrees had offered Dick Smith more in the way of training and merchandising support than a then under-pressure Vodafone.

However, the rift was short-lived, and Dick Smith is now selling products and services from all three mobile carriers.

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- Fairfax Media

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