Retail staff set to be moved to alternative stores with managers’ jobs currently under consultation
EE is to close 78 (11 per cent) of its 700 retail stores before the end of April, the operator has confirmed.
EE rebranded its entire T-Mobile and Orange retail estate on October 30 and will now close stores in areas it deems no longer require a multiple presence.
Front-line staff at the closing stores will be moved into nearby branches, with store managers undergoing a consultation with the firm about alternative opportunities.
Most UK high streets have more than one EE store following the rebrand of all Everything Everywhere, T-Mobile and Orange stores across the UK when the firm’s 4GEE brand officially launched – at a cost rumoured to be around £50m.
Staff are currently in a consultation process with the first of the stores set to close next month.
In addition to the closures four new stores will open although the locations are yet to be revealed.
By the end of April EE will be left with 626 stores, which puts them as the third largest mobile phone retailer on the high street behind Carphone Warehouse which has 800 outlets and Phones 4U with 681. Of the other networks, O2 has 464 stores, Vodafone has 350 and Three has 349.
A spokesperson for EE said: “Following the successful launch of EE, and the rebranding of former Orange and T-Mobile stores last year, we are determined to maintain momentum, and continue to drive growth. Consequently we have reviewed our retail estate to improve the service our customers are receiving on the high street.
“As part of this, where we have two EE stores in very close proximity to each other – in some places they are just a door away – we have decided to consolidate. This makes commercial sense and will also help us manage the high levels of demand in our stores and improve the customer experience.
“All front line staff will be moving to the other store which will boost service levels significantly. A store can only have one manager, so we will look to redeploy the small number of affected managers where possible.”