UK retailer John Lewis is starting a pilot program in which they stock mobile devices at two of their stores in the UK and offer free insurance and two year warranties for those devices. The pilot program will roll out by mid-August at their Oxford Street London and Cheadle Manchester locations. If it is successful, it will extend to other John Lewis locations.
The business model is a ‘store-within-a-store’ setup as explained by ThisisMoney (via Windows Central) that will have staff from mobile carrier Vodafone as well as staff from John Lewis. To lower confusion, the only tariffs will be a low data tariff and a high data tariff, both with unlimited texts and minutes. While there are only two tariffs advertised, if customers want to purchase any other plan from Vodafone, they will have that option. There isn’t a list of phones that will be in store but they have many devices on their website.
At the moment there are twenty-four phones listed on John Lewis’ website including three Lumia devices, the Lumia 640, the Lumia 535, and the Lumia 435. While not a full range of Lumia devices, the fact that multiple Windows Phones including one of the newest handsets in the Lumia 640 are available is a positive sign for fans of Windows Phones. The website also has a sorting feature that lets you select things such as operating system and categories such as “great for selfies.” While John Lewis is partnering with Vodafone in their stores, the phones listed on their website are not connected to any specific network.