Retail returns - O2 reports strong customer demand with promising signs for the high street as stores in England reopen

  • Based on early signs from trading in Northern Ireland, retail is set to make a comeback
  • NI stores opened 8th June with the first sale reported within minutes of re-opening at O2 store, Belfast Castle Lane
  • First week trading trends include increased demand for face to face tech support and high demand for wearables as lockdown sets customers on a health kick
  • O2 stores across England reopen from today, 15th June

Shoppers are returning to high street stores at pre Covid-19 levels according to early trading signs at O2.  The news follows the re-opening of O2 stores across Northern Ireland on 8th June and will cheer those on the high street as retail stores across England reopen today.

In a positive boost for retail, customer levels seen during the first week of opening in Northern Ireland demonstrated that shoppers are keen to return to physical stores to see products for themselves and to receive in-person advice as lockdown eases.

In addition to strong handset sales, there was high demand for face to face tech support from O2 Gurus.  The stores also experienced high levels of interest in wearables such as Apple Watch, suggesting that consumers are keen to continue their focus on health and fitness whilst ensuring they remain connected during lockdown.

To celebrate the return of retail, O2 is welcoming customers back with a range of golden deals for every price point, including six months free Disney+ subscriptions for new and upgrading customers.1 O2 is committed to offering customers a great range of products and services with a recent survey revealing that 9 out of 10 people said that they were offered a great value deal on O2.2

The impressive offers3:

  • iPhone SE – lowest ever monthly cost. Available from £21.95 per month for 1GB of data with a £30 upfront payment
  • iPhone 11 – lowest ever monthly cost. Available from £34.95 per month for 1GB of data with a £50 upfront payment
  • Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G – save up £150, plus claim a free pair of Samsung Galaxy Buds+.4 Available from £44.84 per month for 5GB of data with a £40 upfront payment

Customers can also enjoy a host of sim only deals, including 10GB for £10 on an 18 month contract5, whilst data-hungry fans can get a massive 100GB of data for just £20 on a 12 month contract.6

Gareth Turpin, Sales, Service and Retention Director, O2, said: “We’ve seen that shoppers have a real desire to get back on the high street.  Whether it’s being able to try out the range of products, or get personalised tech support, customers value the face to face interaction that only stores can provide.  We’re proud we’ve been able to make our services available again and look forward to welcoming more customers back into our stores.”

David Mallon, Store Leader at O2’s Belfast, Castle Lane store said:  “It has been a busy first week and our team has enjoyed being back in store helping customers. We have received many positive comments on the safety measures we have put in place and customers are enjoying the in-store experience and the personalised service it provides.”

O2 took the decision to close retail stores ahead of government guidance on 24th March.  O2’s store team spent the first phase of lockdown working with experts to redesign its stores to keep them safe for customers when they were able to reopen.  In addition to following guidance around social distancing, O2 has implemented a number of further measures to enhance the store experience.  These include using technology to provide a virtual queue system to save customer waiting time and personalised O2 Guru appointments to fast track repairs 121 post-lockdown.

O2 stores across Scotland and Wales are due to reopen pending further guidance.  For information on store locations and opening hours please visit www.o2.co.uk/storelocator.

For further information about wider measures that O2 has put in place to help customers during this period visit https://www.o2.co.uk/covid-19.

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NOTES TO EDITORS

1To activate Disney+, sign up for a Disney+ account and agree to the Disney+ T&Cs. Disney+ content and related artwork © 2020 Disney and related entities. Tariff eligibility criteria may apply which includes, but is not limited to, UK residency and 18+. For How to claim and full terms see: o2.co.uk/termsandconditions/rewards/o2-extras.

2Source: Populus O2 Retail Exits Survey in Merseyside Region, 27 February – 10 March 2020. Sample size and composition: 309 of 348 (88.8%) customers agreeing with the survey statement: “O2 offered me a great value deal”

3Each year your Airtime Plan will be adjusted on your April bill by the RPI rate announced in the preceding Feb. See o2.co.uk/prices. For the iPhone SE £10.95 Device Plan for 36 months, with £30 upfront and £11 monthly rolling Airtime Plan. The Airtime Plan on our O2 Refresh 1GB tariff available on the iPhone SE 64GB is at our lowest monthly cost since device launch. For the iPhone 11 £18.95 Device Plan for 36 months, with £30 upfront and £16 monthly rolling Airtime Plan. The Airtime Plan on our O2 Refresh 1GB tariff available on the iPhone 11 64GB is at our lowest monthly cost since device launch.  For the Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G £23.84 Device Plan for 36 months, with £40 upfront and £21 monthly rolling Airtime Plan. O2 custom plans: Direct purchases only. Pay the cash price for your device or spread the cost over 3 to 36 months (excludes dongles).  The device cost will be the same whatever you choose. You need a monthly rolling Airtime Plan as long as you have a Device Plan. Pay off your Device Plan at any time and you can choose to keep your Airtime Plan, upgrade or leave. If your Airtime Plan ends for any reason you will need to pay your Device Plan in full. UK calls/texts to standard UK landlines and mobiles and when roaming in our Europe Zone. Fair Usage policy applies. Special and out of bundle numbers chargeable. Change your Airtime Tariff after 30 days and then once every billing month during your minimum contract period, choosing from a selected family of tariffs. Some tariff extras are only available on the starting tariff, are not transferable, and may be lost if you change to an ineligible tariff. Devices are subject to availability. 0% APR. Finance subject to status and credit checks. 18+. Direct Debit. Credit provided by Telefónica UK Ltd, SL1 4DX. Telefónica UK is authorised and regulated by the FCA for consumer credit and insurance. Terms apply, see o2.co.uk/terms.

4Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G: £150 saving consists of £78 discount applied to Device Plan (total cost of device was £976 now £898) and further £72 saving achieved by £2 per month discount on the 5GB, 15GB, 30GB, 60GB & Unlimited Plans over 36 months. Airtime discount applies until you change tariff, leave or upgrade. Offer ends 1 July 2020. Free Gift with Purchase: Promoter: Samsung Electronics (UK) Limited. UK or ROI residents (18+) (Individual Participant) or registered Companies (Company Participant) only. Purchase a selected new Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G or Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G Enterprise Edition (Promotion Product) from O2 (Participating Retailer) between 00:00 on 04/06/2020 – 23:59 on 01/07/2020 and claim a pair of Samsung Galaxy Buds+ wireless headphones in white (Reward) by redemption. No cash alternative. Promotion Product must be received and not returned. Individual Participants must complete the online claim form in the Benefits section of the Samsung Members app pre-installed and Company Participants must complete the online claim form on the website (http://20202.samsungpromotions.claims/o2buds), upload proof of purchase and provide all other required information between 04/06/20 – 31/07/20 (Claim). Maximum 1 Claim per Promotion Product purchased, maximum 1 Claim per Individual Participant, maximum of 2 claims per household, and a maximum of two-hundred (200) Claims per Company Participant. See http://20202.samsungpromotions.claims/o2buds for full Promotion terms. 

5Each year your Airtime Plan will be adjusted on your April bill by the RPI rate announced in the preceding Feb. See o2.co.uk/prices. Price applies until you change tariff, leave or upgrade. Ends 1 July 2020. 18 month minimum term sim only tariff purchased direct from O2. Unused mins, text and data allowances must be used within the month and cannot be carried over. Standard calls, texts and data in the UK and when roaming in our Europe Zone. Excludes premium-rate and service numbers. Special and out of bundle numbers chargeable. Phone not included.  Subject to status and availability. Terms and fair usage policy apply, see o2.co.uk/terms.

6Each year your Airtime Plan will be adjusted on your April bill by the RPI rate announced in the preceding Feb. See o2.co.uk/prices. Price applies until you change tariff, leave or upgrade. 12 month minimum term sim only tariff purchased direct from O2. Unused mins, text and data allowances must be used within the month and cannot be carried over. Standard calls, texts and data in the UK and when roaming in our Europe Zone. Excludes premium-rate and service numbers. Special and out of bundle numbers chargeable. Phone not included.  Subject to status and availability. Terms and fair usage policy apply, see o2.co.uk/terms.