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Vodafone will use AI instead of people and close more than 1,000 stores

Christian Fernsby |
Vodafone will shut 15% of its 7,700 stores in Europe and upgrade some of the remaining outlets, chief executive Nick Read said.

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Topics: VODAFONE    STORE   

The group will overhaul its European store estate using data to give insight into what customers want in each location, with 40% of the stores transformed by the end of 2021, Read said.

Customer service offered by Apple and Amazon had changed expectations, and Vodafone hopes to improve its services faster than former incumbent rivals like BT, Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica with targeted and personalised marketing, he said.

“If you believe that 40% of your transactions are going to be digital, then how does that impact why someone goes to a store. The journeys and the purpose of the store changes,” Read told reporters at a briefing in Duesseldorf, Germany.

“(That) means that we will have more ‘experience’ stores, less standard format stores (and) more convenience, and kiosk and click-to-collect stores.”

Read said the group would use new technology such as its AI-powered chatbot to help customers buy products and services in just three clicks.

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