The O2 Store is a chain of retail stores operated by Telefónica Europe, specializing in mobile phones. As of January 2014, O2 has opened over 450 stores in the United Kingdom. O2 Stores come in 2 formats - Franchise and Retail. The latter are owned and maintained by O2 UK directly, as opposed to private investors. The majority of stores have an O2 Guru, effectively a Technical Specialist and ad hoc Assistant Manager. This free service is offered to all consumers, whether they are a Telefonica customer or not.
On 24 November 2005 (2005-11-24), Daniel Fountain, an O2 employee for 5 years, opened the first U.K. retail store in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.
"It's great that I can open the first O2 franchise in my home region and with the regeneration plans, Rotherham is a prime site;— There is currently a high level of competition among mobile operators on the high street so bringing the strong O2 brand, fantastic customer service and great deals will be a great thing for the people of Rotherham. My focus will be on providing first rate customer service with a local feel so that my store stands out on the high street. I'll be drawing upon the strengths of O2's brand, systems, services and products, and my knowledge of and passion for the region, to create an unrivalled shopping experience."
Aside from general information, mobile phones are the central motive for visiting an O2 store and this is where the Microsoft Surface Table is being implemented in a selection of stores. Customers can interactively choose from a selection of mobile phones. Data is displayed directly from the existing O2 backend systems and thus are always up to date. Using the touch-sensitive surface, users can filter for desired features, compare handsets and view them from various angles more easily.