Perhaps buoyed by iPhone profits in its coffers, O2 is to spend a multi-million pound amount tarting up its retail stores.

Selected O2 stores will be sporting a fresh new look over the next few months with 150 stores by the end of 2009 due to undergo a complete re-fit.

Part of the company's "Retail Transformation Programme" it's all aimed to change the perception of mobile retailing by making it more convenient, accessible and easier to understand for customers.

The new stores have been designed to provide a welcoming space to make customers feel more at ease, complete with a "relaxed and inviting lounge area", centred around a coffee table and large plasma screen.

In addition, during 2009 O2 has said it will double its training budget for O2 Gurus - specially trained staff members with the "necessary knowledge to answer any technical questions the customer has about O2 products, from mobile phones and broadband, through to future innovations before they launch".

The Manchester store at the Arndale centre is the first to be transformed, while over the next few months this programme will roll out in stores across the UK such as Nottingham, Glasgow, Newcastle, Ipswich and Northampton.