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Telecom’s Dealer Distribution Rejuvenated

Tue, 24 Aug 2004

Leading Edge Rejuvenates Telecom’s Dealer Distribution

Heavyweight Australian retailer Leading Edge Group has purchased 15 Telecom business focused retail stores for $16.4 million.

“We’re thrilled to have a partner of Leading Edge Group’s pedigree to enhance the service provided to our small and medium size business customers”, Telecom Mobile General Manager Kevin Kenrick said.

“Leading Edge has demonstrated strong operating skills and a proven record in developing and managing communication stores in Australia. We’re looking forward to the expertise they will bring to the market and the added-value they will provide our customers,” he said.

The Leading Edge Group is Australia’s largest buying group and is presently Telstra’s third largest postpaid mobile phone dealer. Leading Edge Group operates a national network of 1,300 stores in Australia that generate A$1.5 billion in annual turnover.

Mr Kenrick said the decision to sell the stores was made mid-2003 as part of a detailed review of Telecom’s retail distribution strategy. Recommendations included the revamping of consumer stores to complement the work of mass market retailers, and the sale of 15 business stores to an independent dealer.

“The review recognised the need to consolidate the dealer channel for the business stores with the creation of national operators with the mandate for growth,” he said.

“Our aim is to offer a consistent and professional customer experience providing access to the knowledge and expertise required by customers to meet their communications needs,” he said.

Leading Edge Group will take over ownership of the stores on 30 September 2004.

Leading Edge Group Chief Executive Officer Keith Lane said he has been very impressed by Telecom’s plans to work with Leading Edge to revitalise the stores.

“Leading Edge Group intends to leverage the strength of both the Telecom brand and the company’s extensive business networks to grow the existing business base,” Mr Lane said.

Telecom retains ownership of the 25 consumer focussed stores and adds Leading Edge Group to a stable of independent retail & dealer partners.

The sale of the 15 outlets, in Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Tauranga, Whangarei, Taupo, Napier and Christchurch, was managed by New Zealand investment bank First NZ Capital.


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