EE to close 78 shops following Orange, T-Mobile merger

EE to close 78 shops following Orange, T-Mobile merger

Summary: A number of EE, Orange and T-Mobile stores will be closing across the UK as EE moves to cut down duplication of retail outlets.

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EE, the amalgamation of Orange and T-Mobile in the UK, has announced it will be closing a number of its shops across the UK in a bid to reduce costs and streamline its operations.

EE shops
EE is closing 78 shops, citing the proximity of some stores to each other as one reason for the closures. Image: lazygamer/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

A spokesman for EE told ZDNet 78 stores would be affected and the decision about which stores to close came down to practical factors such as how much footfall each had, whether a lease was coming to an end, and how close the next EE store was. The company statement said the move would allow it to serve its customers better, albeit with fewer stores.

"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," an EE spokeswoman said in a statement on Thursday.

Despite the news - another blow for a struggling UK high street that has seen Jessops, Blockbuster, Comet and HMV close in the last few months - EE said it would retain all front line staff and strive to minimise the impact on managers.

"All front line staff will be moving to the other stores, 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," the company said.

EE's website currently lists more than 700 retail stores and says that the company employs more than 11,000 customer service and retail employees across the brands T-Mobile, Orange and EE brands. 

EE is currently the only national operator able to offer 4G services in the UK, but it will face greater competition later in the year when rival networks will be able to introduce LTE services.

Topics: 4G, Mobility, Telcos, IT Employment, United Kingdom

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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3 comments
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  • Obvious move

    I can imagine one of the reasons for the merger was the cut down on costs, and the rent on duplicated stores has to be an obvious massive saving.

    I do wonder how long the front line staff numbers will remain, however. Do the surviving stores really need two managers, or assistant managers, for instance?

    Also, can't see the savings being passed on to people who have taken up the eye-wateringly expensive 4G services on offer.
    Greedoe
    • +1

      They kept the stores open for the rebranding, Christmas rush and iPhone 5 launch buzz. It's is just step one. There may well be more than 100 still to close logically seeing how many now compete with each other. Thinking is simple; they are now one network with two networks store count. Closing 78 is profit boosting, closing 178 at once is a pr nightmare and risks shareholder unrest. Long term there have to be more to go?
      MarknWill
  • All clueless

    I am sad for anyone who loses their job, but some of the staff in T-Mobile shops should never have been employed in the first place!
    Is it just me that finds the whole EE logo, branding, uniforms etc etc overwhelmingly underwhelming!
    oracle57