Mobile phone retailer EE is to close 11% of its UK store estate following a review of its retail operation with 78 of its 700 shops set to close before the end of April.

The mobile phone retailer, which  rebranded its entire estate as EE from its former T-Mobile and Orange fascias in October last year, is closing in areas where it now has multiple stores.

Store staff will be moved into nearby branches while store managers are undergoing a consultation.

The first stores will close next month. EE will be left with 626 stores, which puts it as the third largest mobile phone specialist on the high street behind Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U.