EE to close 78 UK retail stores

EE store

Comms provider EE has confirmed that 78 of its 700 high street retail outlets are to close.

The company was created following the merger of the Orange and T-Mobile brands in the UK in 2009.

In September 2012, the firm underwent a massive rebranding exercise to mark the start of its 4G rollout plans in the UK, which saw the firm change its name from Everything Everywhere to EE.

As part of this, Orange and T-Mobile shops up and down the country were rebranded as EE stores, resulting in some high streets featuring one or more of its outlets.

In a statement, the company said it has earmarked stores in areas with one or more EE shops for closure, and claims all frontline staff will be moved to other stores.

It also said it will seek to find roles for the "small number" of store managers affected by its change in retail strategy.

"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," it said.

"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," the statement added.

News of the store closures comes hot on the heels of HMV and Blockbuster entering administration this week.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.