Economy

Telstra answers Apple Store challenge with flagship T[Life] store

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Just days after Apple grabbed headlines with the opening of its giant Apple Store in Sydney, Telstra has hit back by opening its giant 1893 square metre T[Life] store in Melbourne.

Just days after Apple grabbed headlines with the opening of its giant Apple Store in Sydney, Telstra has hit back by opening its giant 1893 square metre T[Life] store in Melbourne.

Telstra chief executive Sol Trujillo said customers will have the chance to try working mobile phones and other gadgets, receive one-on-one expert advice, watch live demonstrations, and attend “how to” classes – all reminiscent of the Apple Store model.

The Melbourne flagship – which features a giant 22m x 2.5m LCD screen, the largest of its type in Australia – is the fifth T[life] store to open after Sydney, Geelong, Chadstone and Doncaster.

T [life] represents a new push by Telstra to expand its retail presence after a shake-up in its dealerships and a maturing of the telecommunications market that has hit sales and earnings of a number of chains.

Telstra plans to rebadge about 25% of its 300 retail outlets as T[Life] stores in the next 12 months.

Trujillo did have a message for anyone wondering if Telstra was going to war with Apple. “The answer’s no. Apple has a great store, they’ve got a great brand and they do great things. But we’re much bigger, we’re much broader and we’re much more connected in terms of touching everybody’s lives here in Australia.”

However, Telstra officials refused to comment on whether the company would stock the hot new iPhone, which will go on sale on 11 July.

With Inside Retailing

 

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