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EE to close 78 stores by May

EE is planning to reduce its high street presence by more than 10 per cent, announcing that it is to close 78 of its 700 stores by the end of April.

The operator is billing the forthcoming closures as a consolidation of resources, correcting its current problem of oversaturation. Following the conversion of T-Mobile and Orange stores to the tune of £50 million, multiple EE stores were found populating the same street, with some comically located next to one another (see image, top).

“We have reviewed our retail estate to improve the service our customers are receiving on the high street,” said an EE spokesperson.

“As part of this 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.”

Employees from affected stores are not expected to be made redundant. Consultations with the first set of branches due to close - in February - are already underway.

“All front line staff will be moving to the other store 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 spokesperson explained.

EE, formerly known as Everything Everywhere and, was formed in 2010 following the merger of Orange and T-Mobile. It currently enjoys exclusive access to the UK's new 4G LTE spectrum.