EE aims to ramp up presence in Scotland with franchises

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Six of the operator’s 35 shops in the country targeted to transfer to a franchise model, while other locations pinpointed where it could use franchisees to expand its presence

EE has launched a major promotional campaign to drum up support for its franchise opportunities in Scotland.

Half a dozen of EE’s 35-strong Scottish retail network have been earmarked for transferring to a franchise model, while “white spot” locations have been identified internally where it would like to use franchisees to expand its presence in the country.

The firm previously announced plans to open 50 new stores as part of a UK-wide review of its retail strategy that will also see 76 stores close. It would also see the amount of franchise stores reach 100, as part of its overall estate of around 574 stores by the end of 2014.

“What I’ve identified is that Scotland, for us, isn’t somewhere where I think we’re getting the awareness and applications coming through as we are with the other regions,” EE head of franchise Brett Simpson told Mobile News. “So, it’s trying to reach out to people on an awareness basis and say we’ve got some great opportunities in Scotland and some more in the North West of England. We’re trying be a bit more targeted and specific.”

EE has embarked on the promotional campaign that has seen it advertise in the national and trade press and says Scotland’s geographical make up means it is a different prospect to the rest of the UK. In other regions, EE has approached existing partners but it accepts the majority of Scottish franchise stores will be with new franchisees.

Franchise fees for EE vary from £200,000 to £350,000, depending on the size and location of the store. O2 currently operates 202 franchise outlets across its 466 stores, and Vodafone, which has announced plans to grow its retail estate to 504 by April 2015, doesn’t offer franchise opportunities at present.

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