3 buys shop space ahead of Christmas

Hutchison Whampoa’s UK 3G operation said Tuesday that it has acquired 95 retail stores in shopping centres and high street locations across the UK from retailer the Link.

Under the agreement 3 UK, which currently has around 30 “3Stores” in the UK, is acquiring 73 Link stores and 22 O2 stores. UK mobileco O2 snapped up the remaining 60 per cent of the Link that it did not already own for £30m back in June.

On 3’s part, the acquisition continues the company’s strategy to build a nationwide retail presence with a footprint of over 150 stand alone stores and 133 Superdrug and Selfridges concessions by the end of 2006.

All permanent employees at the 73 Link stores being acquired will transfer to 3 as part of the acquisition, while all O2 store staff will continue to work for O2, creating more than 200 new jobs in the 3 retail network.

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