Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) will bring all its 208 Vodafone-branded retail outlets in-house, with all current retail staff to be offered ongoing employment contracts.
“About 1400 people are affected but they will all be offered letters of employment directly with Vodafone. That includes store staff, store managers and retail territory managers,” Vodafone Australia spokesman, Greg Spears, told ARN.
The stores are currently managed by four external companies. Of the 208 branches, First Mobile operates 79 stores, Digicall operates 79 stores, Inside Mobile runs 28 stores and GSM runs 22 stores.
As part of the integration, all non-retail staff at First Mobile and Digicall will also be offered a job but Spears was not able to comment on the fate of non-retail staff at Inside Mobile and GSM.
Spears said the integration will be finalised over the next three months, and that the deals between Vodafone, its retail staff and the four store operators were confidential.
“We do see it as a very important strategic shift which will allow us to own and operate our national Vodafone-branded retail channel.
“We also see it as a very shrewd move competitively because it will better position VHA with a more cohesive and consistent Vodafone customer experience,” he said.
In late May, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) allowed Vodafone and Hutchison to merge into VHA, stating that “absent the merger, the parties are unlikely to sustain the significant investment in their mobile networks.”