EE to close 78 high street shops in cost-cutting move

EE to close 78 high street shops in cost-cutting moveMobile network conglomerate EE has announced plans to close a total of 78 shops across the UK as part of a cost-cutting operation.

The company says the move is in part an inevitable downsizing after the existing branches of T-Mobile and Orange were combined under the EE umbrella, and says all front-line staff will be retained.

That probably won't do too much to change initial worries that yet another major name on the high street is in trouble, however. Not when we've seen the likes of HMV, Blockbuster and Jessops hitting administration woes in the past few weeks alone.

But with the rebranding of T-Mobile and Orange shops having left in some cases two EE branches situated right next door or facing each other, there's more than a little logic behind some degree of downsizing. Besides, considering EE is currently the sole provider of 4G services in the UK, if it's in a deep financial hole right now it doesn't leave much hope for its rivals.

According to ZDNet, the decision on store closures was based on practicalities such as footfall, the lease situation and the proximity of the next EE store.

“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,” EE said in a statement earlier today.

“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.”

Logically, that “small number” is of course 78, and no matter how sensible EE's business decision might be, we'd suggest a more accurate use of “small number” would be to describe how many of them are feeling particularly happy about it right now.

Read more about: OrangeT-mobile

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9 comments

Pondlife  Jan. 17, 2013 at 19:36

says all front-line staff will be retained

hahaha yeah right.

Just the first batch too, there must be more to close when possible.

jifhfiug  Jan. 17, 2013 at 20:37

well there's like 4 shops in Bromley al:(l within a 3 min walk of each other so I'm not surprised

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 17, 2013 at 20:57

I bet they didn't 'plan' that when they threw their eggs in one basket. No, sir... brandnew idea ;)

Pondlife  Jan. 17, 2013 at 21:21

Must have wasted a fair bit rebranding all those closing stores...

matt101101 / MOD  Jan. 17, 2013 at 23:10

Must have wasted a fair bit rebranding all those closing stores...
Lets face it, it made the merger look more friendly and both companies (and their parent companies) are hardly poor.

dcx_badass  Jan. 18, 2013 at 02:31

The picture on the ZDNet link are the two stores I've mentioned on here in the past, those two next to each other and a few others dotted around the city as well.

B1zarr0Prim3  Jan. 18, 2013 at 08:29

In Coventry we've got 3 within a minute walk from each other.
2 of them are separated by a Phones4U and staff are often seen running between the them.

zahidworld  Jan. 18, 2013 at 08:46

Hardly a surprise!

All high streets have a tmobile and a Orange store!

AhmadCentral  Jan. 18, 2013 at 14:59

Yeh i know the manager of my local t-mobile store and they've been expecting this for ages. He's actually running the orange shop as well and he's told me that it's going to be the orange shop closing down as the T-Mobile store has performed much better since the merger.

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