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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 October 2006, 19:11 GMT 20:11 UK
High Street growth for 3 mobile
3 mobile phone
3 wants to be visible to shoppers
Mobile phone firm 3 is expanding its High Street presence, taking over 95 stores from The Link and rival network operator O2.

The firm has not disclosed the value of the deal, which will extend its existing retail portfolio of about 30 stores and 130 concession outlets.

Most of the stores will be re-opened in time for crucial pre-Christmas period.

The firm, which has 3.5 million UK users, said the stores would serve both existing and new customers.

'Brand presence'

The firm wants eventually to have stores across the whole of the UK. It currently has fewer outlets than rivals such as Vodafone and Orange.

Most of the stores acquired are in prime locations on busy high streets and shopping centres.

The store expansion will help 3 get its products into the hands of consumers more quickly, the firm said.

Much of the emphasis in the stores will be on promoting entertainment products available through 3 phones, such as music, TV and games.

"This strengthens our direct sales channel, giving the 3 brand a major presence on high streets across the country and helping us to further develop our relationship with our existing customers," said Marc Allera, sales director for 3 UK.

The firm is owned by Hong Kong business Hutchison Whampoa.

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