O2 has brought in property agent Churston Heard to beef up its search for 30 stores.
The phone retailer is looking for 1,000 sq ft (95 sq m) stores in major regional locations, including Birmingham, Guildford, Kingston, Glasgow, Bristol, Newcastle and Manchester. O2 is also seeking to relocate stores in towns where it is trading from unsuitable sites, as well as infilling areas where it is unrepresented.
Meanwhile, with the mobile phone industry waking up to the opportunity offered by new shopping parks, O2 is also seeking to open its first retail park stores. Churston Heard director Damian Sumner said O2 intends to open stores before Christmas. 'It's an aggressive requirement,' he said.
Last August, Churston Heard was appointed to dispose of 40 stores that were surplus to the retailer's requirements, following its acquisition of Mobile Phone Store, DX Communications and BT mobile phone shops. Churston Heard joins Capital Retail to handle O2's acquisitions.