Asda has secured an exclusive deal with Vodafone UK to become the first supermarket to sell contract mobile phones.
It has opened a trial technology centre at its Tamworth supercentre and if successful will invest £1m to roll out the concept to other larger stores across the country.
The Asda/Vodafone £30 monthly contract offers a free Nokia 6230 phone and Bluetooth head set, a text bundle of 50 free messages and 250 any-time minutes.
The technology centres will also sell a range of pre-pay phones from Vodafone, Virgin and T-Mobile, and phone accessories, as well as MP3 players and accessories. Asda said that, in the future, Wal-Mart interactive technology will be used on the technology centre terminals, which have been purpose designed to credit-check customers. It will also help staff match customer requirements to specific phones.
Non-food director Tony Page said: “We are determined to take the hard sell out of cellphones and ring the changes with prices that suit our customers’ needs and not the person who is selling the phone. If successful, we look forward to taking the learning from this trial and using this knowledge to bring technology centres to our other supercentres.”