O2 ‘future stores’ across Northern Ireland open

O2 will use virtual queuing technology and new store design to safely open its shops in Northern Ireland to customers and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday, 8th June 2020, 1:00 pm
Updated Monday, 8th June 2020, 3:14 pm
The 17 O2 stores across Northern Ireland opened today (Monday, June 8)

At these ‘future stores’, all customers will skip the queues and instead join a virtual system, receiving a text when an advisor is ready to assist them in a personal one to one appointment.

NHS and Care Workers who show their ID badges will also be given VIP access to skip the queue to speak to an advisor in store.

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. Through a series of trials, the team addressed problems including small shop space and face to face customer service, creating a more personal appointment system.

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O2 has also used tech to help thousands of UK SMBs to keep trading during lockdown, with video consultation services and tools for remote working.

The 17 O2 stores across Northern Ireland opened today (Monday, June 8).

Gareth Turpin, Sales, Service and Retention Director, O2, said: “Retail has changed in the wake of COVID-19, and we need to make sure we adapt to that change. We have regrouped and worked out how our stores and our tech can be used to help customers and staff. The result is a more personal service which also saves customer waiting time. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to our stores to see the changes for themselves.”

David Mallon, Store Leader at O2’s Castlelane store said: “We have spent the last few weeks preparing, training and adjusting to new ways of working, keeping the safety of our people and our customers at the forefront of everything we do. My team and I are really looking forward to reopening and welcoming customers back into our store.”

As a result of the trials, and in line with government guidelines, the following process will be in place in stores:

* Social distancing measures throughout each store, with clear two metre floor markings

* Personalised service with a limit on the number of customers in-store at any one time

* Appointment system to make sure customers are not held in unnecessary queues or kept waiting

* Contactless payment limit has been increased to £45 with email receipts.

* All employees will be equipped with the appropriate PPE, including gloves and face coverings

* Screens at all open service areas

Enhanced cleaning processes across stores with all product displays, furniture and chairs to be sanitised after every customer.

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