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Optus to dump Allphones

Optus has confirmed that it will end its retail distribution agreements with reseller Allphones in June 2013.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

In the second axing of its kind in two months, Optus will end its retail distribution with Allphones and its 165 stores as of June 2013.

Optus confirmed to ZDNet this morning that the change was part of a "refocus" of the company's retail distribution strategy.

"Optus is refocusing its retail distribution strategy to better reflect the maturing mobile market and changing consumer needs. The new strategy will see a more integrated retail and online presence and the rationalisation of some distribution channels, enabling Optus to take greater control of the end-to-end customer experience under the Optus brand," Optus said.

ZDNet understands that Allphones was notified on Tuesday last week of the change, and Optus confirmed that the agreement would end by mid-2013.

"After June 2, 2013, Allphones retail outlets and online will cease selling Virgin Mobile products, and after August 30, 2013, Allphones will cease selling all Optus consumer products, including mobile, fixed telephony, and broadband products," Optus said in a statement.

Until that date, Allphones will continue to sell Optus and Virgin products, the company said. Allphones also sells Vodafone products, as well as Optus wholesalers Dodo and Amaysim. The retailer also stocks Boost, which Optus has also dropped as a reseller of Optus services.

In September this year, Canadian retailer Glentel bought an 83 percent stake in Allphones' parent company AMT Group for AU$70.6 million. ZDNet contacted Glentel for a comment, however no response had been received at the time of writing.

One Allphones franchisee, who wished to remain anonymous, told ZDNet that Optus' decision would be "game changing" for the 168 Allphones stores, because Optus sales accounts for approximately 70 percent of his store's revenue.

The franchisee said that it was a confusing decision for Optus to cut ties with resellers where the company doesn't pay costs like rents or wages, and instead opt for building Optus-branded retail stores.

He said that his message to Allphones is that the company isn't beholden to one mobile network operator.

The dumping of Allphones comes after Optus cut ties with Telechoice at the end of October.

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