The operator is also closing 76 stores as part of its efforts to reduce duplication on the high street
EE is to open 50 new stores in 2014 as part of a retail strategy that will also see them close 76 this year.
Franchise store numbers will also grow from the current 22 to 100 by the end of the year. Thirty of the new stores will open as franchises, and they will all be EE branded.
EE said 350 new jobs will be created as a result of store openings. The 76 closures will see most staff transferred to other EE stores, with store managers given the opportunity to take head office roles or accept a redundancy package. The operator has begun discussions with store staff.
The move will see EE’s store numbers reduced from 600 to 574 (including 100 franchise stores). This is in comparison to O2, which has 466 stores (202 franchise) and Vodafone, which has 400 stores, none of which are franchise owned.
EE retail director Deirdre Burns said: “We have just announced that over two million customers enjoy superfast 4G – twice our target for 2013. Our retail team has played a key role in this success and we have no intention of standing still. The High Street is working for us, and we are committed to operating the best shops, in the right locations.
“We’ve already determined the new areas to develop and grow and now have plans for 50 new EE stores to open, including a number of franchise outlets, over the next 12 months creating hundreds of new jobs.”