Orange shifts offer to services

Orange is planning to redesign its 82 UK retail stores within the next four years, in order to focus on the sale of services rather than products.

The mobile telecoms network is in talks with Wolff Olins, which helped to design its existing retail format, with a view to selling future services through its stores. An Orange spokesman says services will replace products and accessories as the main revenue earner for retail by 2004.

Orange Retail general manager Bob Johnson says discussions with Wolff Olins are still ongoing. The consultancy recently helped Orange complete the interiors of its Orange Studio, which made its official opening in Birmingham last week.

The three-floor venue is aimed at small businesses. It features a ground floor Internet café and sandwich bar, a graphics studio called Colour Scope and a top- floor split-level bar and conservatory, supporting wire-free Internet links. A range of innovative video-conferencing facilities can also be hired.

Johnson says there are no current plans to open further Orange Studios. Rather, this one will serve as the physical hub of a new type of business network. The vision is that the network will expand with the penetration of Orange phone and video products into the business market.

“I think the biggest revenue stream for Orange Studio will be from print,” he adds. Small businesses will be able to hire the design and print services of a small in-house team, and access them remotely. A design manager will be hired in the future, but until then Birmingham print group Robin East Supplies will run Colour Scope.

Atelier Works acted as branding and print consultancy for the venue, working with design writer Tim Rich on copy.

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