The specialist joint venture between Vodafone New Zealand and Millennium Corp, created to operate the network of 63 Vodafone New Zealand retail stores throughout Aotearoa, has recently appointed Justin Lobb as CEO. With thirteen years as CEO of Vodafone’s largest retail dealer, Digital Mobile, and over thirty years in the local and global telecommunications and technology industry, Justin brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role.
Vodafone NZ Consumer Director, Carolyn Luey, says the joint venture, under Justin’s leadership as Acting CEO, has been crucial to supporting Vodafone’s retail stores since it was established in August 2019, and especially over the last few months.
“Throughout the COVID-19 lockdown period we turned our stores into Essential Connectivity Hubs, operated by one staff member per store who provided essential services to our customers by booking only,” she says. “The rest of our 300-odd retail staff members were successfully redeployed to assist our customers through Vodafone’s digital channels.
“Then, at Level Two when stores could reopen, our retail staff implemented safe ways to help customers in-store and now at Level One we have launched our Local Virtual Store, giving customers the option to engage with their local retail teams digitally.”
Vodafone’s new Local Virtual Store connects customers with online retail staff through the company’s website with extended hours to 9pm, seven days a week. Retail staff log on from home on a rostered basis or from stores in quiet times.
“Justin and his team were key to making all these changes in incredibly short timeframes and supporting our retail staff throughout,” says Luey.
“His specialist retail knowledge and extensive experience running customer-facing operations means the joint venture is in good hands as it plays a key part in Vodafone NZ’s goal to create a seamless omni-channel customer experience.”
Justin Lobb says he is looking forward to taking Vodafone’s retail stores to the next level.
“The last few months has seen a lot of change for retail businesses and consumer behaviour, however our people are excited to now be engaging with customers in a variety of new ways,” he says.
“With new in-store experiences and more customer-focussed initiatives on the roadmap, I can’t wait to introduce new ways to help our customers on their digital journey.”