Mobile phone retailer EE is to open a tranche of statement stores in a new format which includes an innovation hub displaying cutting-edge products yet to hit the market.
EE re-opened a revamped store on Oxford Street today including the innovation hub, a secluded consultation area for business customers and a number of initiatives to reduce queuing.
The innovation hub will include high-end phone accessories as well as products EE will not sell such as hardware which allows consumers to automatically control lighting and music by their mood.
The Oxford Street store will be followed by a similar shop in the Bullring, Birmingham and a handful of further new format stores. Elements of the new shops will then be rolled out.
The move is part of retail director Deirdre Burns’ strategy to improve the shopping experience.
She is studying the possibility of allowing shoppers to register at a store and then receive a text message when a shop assistant is ready so they do not have to necessarily wait in store.
Burns said: “Business hubs offer a new proposition as we do have a lot of business customers who like to sit and discuss their needs. We are looking to be able to offer appointments for them too.”
EE, which has 600 shops, intends to open 50 company-owned stores this year and close 76 shops where there was a duplication of Orange and T-Mobile stores, the two retailers from which it was formed.