John Lewis is to make 25 of the most popular SIM-free smartphones available to buy online and in-store, and will offer two-year Vodafone contracts later in 2015, after signing a partnership with the mobile network operator (MNO).
At its launch the range of smartphones will include devices from Doro, HTC, LG, Microsoft Lumia, Motorola, Samsung and Sony, adding the iPhone 6+, 6, 5S and 5C to the line-up. These will be made available and in the retailer’s flagship Oxford Street store from July.
The second phase of the strategy – to commence in August – will see John Lewis and Vodafone offer contract handsets in the retailer's Cheadle store, and from autumn in Oxford Street.
The retailer will establish dedicated Vodafone units in its technology departments, staffed both by John Lewis partners and Vodafone staff.
It will recommend two tariffs with varying data limits and unlimited calls and texts, although customers will be free to buy any Vodafone plan they wish. John Lewis customers can also sign up to Vodafone’s three-month unlimited data Test Drive offer.
Simplifying mobile tariffs
John Lewis will also offer contract customers and SIM-free customers a two-year accidental damage insurance policy, as well as its standard price-matching guarantee.
Johnathan Marsh, John Lewis EHT buying director, said offering customers mobile phones was an important part of John Lewis's overall connected home strategy.
“We know from our website traffic and searches that customers are actively looking for mobiles from us,” he said.
“At the moment there are thousands of potential combinations of mobile handsets and tariffs on the market, which can be really daunting for customers – and this is why we’re determined to bring John Lewis levels of excellence, simplicity and value to the mobile market.
“Our buyers have done all the homework to make it easier for customers to find a deal that’s right for them.”