It is understood that Telstra intends to buy back its retail stores from independent store licensees and Vita Group Limited. Telstra currently controls 67 Telstra stores, a further 166 branded stores run by independent licensees and 104 stores are operated by Vita Group Limited.
Telstra’s head of consumer and small business Michael Ackland said the move was required to “keep pace with the growing digital economy” and give the telco more flexibility to respond to customer needs.
“This was not an easy decision given that we have enjoyed a long-term partnership with many of our licensees,” Ackland said.
Negotiations with licensees and the Vita Group will begin shortly and it is believed the process will take between 12 and 18 months to finalise. Telstra has said they intend to offer roles to current store staff in the majority of cases as part of negotiated transition.
"As more customers interact with businesses online resulting in changes to the broader retail industry, we think now is the right time to bring back full ownership to further develop a consistent and integrated customer experience across our online channels and store network," Ackland said.
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