By Claire Reilly

Optus has announced the rollout of its first Optus-branded 'yes’ concept stores on the East Coast, beginning with the opening of a store in the northern-Sydney suburb of Hornsby.

The 10 “pilot” stores form part of the Telco’s plans to add 33 new stores to its network over the next 12 months, with more than 100 existing stores to be refitted under the new format. As part of this retail rebranding, Optus says it is set to hire over 200 new retail staff.

“Easier, simpler and better is what our customers have been telling us they want,” said the managing director of sales at Optus, Rohan Ganeson. “We’ve listened, and these stores are an opportunity to deliver a better experience.

“We want interactions with Optus to exceed expectations and the feedback, both good and bad, from our pilot stores will be invaluable in helping us shape the experience for the rest of the transformation.”

Today’s news follows an announcement in October 2012 that Optus would be conducting a “rationalisation” program that would see it cut ties with the TeleChoice mobile reselling franchise and discontinue its Boost pre-paid mobile brand.

The new Optus shopfronts, to be known as “yes stores”, will feature new “flexible designs with magnetic countertops and signage”, interactive product demonstration areas and “environmentally friendly fit-outs like new store lighting [that] will see up to 40 per cent energy savings”.

According to a spokesperson for Optus, the telco worked with retail fit-out agency Angley Arrowsmith to develop the new store formats. Angley Arrowsmith counts major brands such as JB Hi-Fi, Ted's Cameras, Vodafone and Panasonic among its clients.

Following the opening of Sydney’s Hornsby store, a further 9 pilot “yes stores” will be opened “throughout March in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria”.