EE unveils its vision for the phone shop of the future

(Image credit: BT/EE)

EE has offered a glimpse into its future retail plans with the opening of a concept store at its new London headquarters in Aldgate.

The One Branham store will be used to test new retail ideas that could be deployed in other locations, and to offer customers a more “immersive” experience when purchasing new services and products from EE and BT.

The site will also serve as a bookable event place for the local community, while customers will also be able to get repairs for Apple, Google, and Samsung phones on-site within two hours.

New EE store

Although online is an increasingly important channel for all four mobile phone operators, all are adamant that there is still a place for physical retail as part of an omnichannel strategy. Most have reimagined their stores to take into account changing customer needs and to reflect the wider range of services offered.

In-store staff can offer demonstrations of new technologies and provide advice to those who prefer in-person communication to a phone call or online chatbot.

“We’ve created an experiential space where customers can get expert advice, or just have some fun with the very latest technology,” said Bridget Lea, MD of Commercial at BT Consumer. We know there’s no substitute for getting help from an expert in person and we’re mixing technology with that personal touch to deliver the best customer service and support.

“The investment in this new store reflects our commitment to make sure customers remain as connected as possible and to keep the local high street invigorated.”

“We’re ready to welcome the local people of Aldgate whether that’s to ask for help or just come in for a coffee and chat about their needs,” added Prince Okoro, store manager of One Braham. “The event space is a place for the local community to come together and be inspired by all that technology can offer them within their households.”

BT is set to complete its move from its home of nearly 40 years in St Pauls by the end of the year. BT Centre was sold for £200 million in 2019 after the company deemed the ten-storey building to no longer be “fit for purpose” as it continued its restructuring programme.

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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.