Hutchison 3G Ireland plans to spend up to EUR15 million (USD18.8 million) to open 28 new retail stores in Ireland’s principal high streets and shopping malls. The company says that the new shops, dubbed ‘mobile media’ stores, will offer an interactive experience for customers with music play pods, entertainment bays and chill-out zones to enable customers to try out its products while finding the right handset and tariff plan. Commenting on the plan, 3 Ireland’s managing director Robert Finnegan said: ‘By 2007 we will have up to 28 3Stores up and down the country, investing millions of euros in the market and creating over two hundred new jobs.’ The operator is looking to capitalise on the Irish population’s desire for next-generation services. ‘With consumers here spending more on their mobile than any other country in the EU, our stores are specifically designed for this mobile-savvy market,’ Finnegan added. The company is launching its flagship store in Dublin with the first regional stores opening in Cork and Waterford in November 2006.