// Next partners with O2 to launch a new experimental store format
// Named “Shop-in-Shop”, the trial will see O2 open stores in 4 Next superstores
// O2 and Next have ambitions to roll out Shop-in-Shop more widely in the coming months
Next has partnered with mobile operator O2 to trial a new shop-in-shop format as both brands seek to adapt to “current challenges” facing the high street.
Named “Shop-in-Shop”, the trial will see O2 open stores within in four existing Next superstores across the country.
Shoppers will be able to browse and buy O2 products and services alongside Next’s clothing and homeware offer in a move the two brands hope will appeal to consumers seeking convenience.
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O2’s Shop-In-Shop will be prominently positioned on either the ground or first floor in each Next store, with the aim of attracting maximum footfall as customers browse.
The trial will initially launch in Next’s Warrington Gemini, Southampton Hedge End, Swindon Orbital and Nottingham Giltbrook stores.
The first stores, in Warrington and Southampton, open today, while the second two will open next month.
Each store will be approximately 650sq ft in size, offering a range of products and services in line with those of traditional O2 stores.
O2 and Next have ambitions to roll out the Shop-in-Shop more widely in the coming months.
“We are delighted to be working with Next on the launch of our Shop-In-Shop trial,” O2 sales director Gareth Turpin said.
“The current challenges facing the high street are never far from the headlines, but we are committed to driving innovation within our retail business by embracing flexibility.
“We look forward to hearing their feedback on the trial and are excited to roll this out more widely in the coming months.”
Next reported a 2.7% rise in pre-tax profits to £319.6 million for the six months to July as online sales growth continued to offset high street woes.
O2 has more than 450 retail stores across the UK.