NZ should follow Woolies' mobile push

It's high time the New Zealand supermarkets joined the mobile phone service bandwagon like their equivalents overseas.

It's high time the New Zealand supermarkets joined the mobile phone service bandwagon like their equivalents overseas.

You can barely wander around the UK supermarkets like ASDA and Tesco, for example, without them touting their telco wares.

You may recall I used a 7-11 service in Canada recently.

And, of course, Australia has its own supermarket Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), Woolworths.

I am sure there is money to be made; it should help stores bring extra clientele through their doors, or at least keep them loyal.

This is why some large British supermarkets are all-encompassing affairs, with banking, insurance and other services too!

As yet, we have no supermarkets offering mobile phone services in New Zealand, even though we tend to follow Australia and Woolworths owns our Countdown chain, which includes the recently re-branded Woolworths stores here.

In MVNO, New Zealand seems just to have niche business operators such as Black & White and Digital Island. The biggest is apparently TelstaClear, which uses Vodafone.

Telecom NZ lists just five MVNO customers even though it says it can help you set up your own operation with the full support of the telco.

After the initial excitement of two years ago when Digital Island and Black & White announced their plans, the take-up has been somewhat disappointing.

Perhaps New Zealand is too small for such offerings. Perhaps 2degrees has been too successful in cornering the "value" market.

But perhaps our New Zealand supermarkets are missing out on extra business, with their customers missing out too.

If Woolies in Australia can do it, surely its Kiwi cousin Countdown can?

So come on Kiwi supermarkets, enter a new world of mobile phone services.

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