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Telstra denies it is taking back stores

 

Telstra says it is not planning to take control of some of its high performing stores from long-standing retail partner Vita Group.

Citing a leaked internal Telstra document, Fairfax Media has reported the telco giant has identified a number of stores it wants to bring back into its own retail network, including 11 that are operated by Vita Group.

Shares in Vita Group, which operates 102 Telstra stores, dropped 21 per cent, or 68 cents, to $2.54 on Tuesday.

A Telstra spokesman said the telco's current arrangement with Vita Group runs to 2020, and the document in question was an internal draft developed for discussion purposes only.

"It does not reflect the viability of any of the stores listed, and no decisions can be taken on individual Vita sites due to the nature of the agreement," he said.

"There are no current plans to amend our arrangement with the Vita Group."

Telstra regularly reviews its store footprint and the arrangements in place with licensees, the spokesman said.

Vita Group said it has enjoyed a 22-year relationship with Telstra, and during that time its master licence agreement has been extended many times.

Telstra shares dropped three cents to $4.67.