Everything Everywhere, the new name for the merged T-mobile and Orange brands in the UK, is to launch its first test retail outlet in Altrincham near Manchester on the 18th February, according to Channel Register. What makes it interesting, however, is that the company plans to do away with the traditional way of taking out a contract or dealing with an account query. Instead, these tasks will be dealt with via interactive terminals. Its staff, having been freed from these more mundane tasks, will be aiming to engage and entertain customers.
There will also be other stores opening in Bishops Stortford, Eltham, Lowestoft and Evesham. Time will tell, however, if Everything Everywhere chooses to ditch its existing Orange and T-mobile brands which have been firmly established in the UK for many years. The mobile communications giant is looking for combined savings of £3.5bn from its retail estate by 2014. It is possible, should these concept stores be successful, that they might chose to shed some extra weight from their retail assets.
The trial stores are existing T-mobile and Orange stores which have been refurbished and kitted out with the latest in retail wizardry. The company, being as "down with the kids" as possible, is encouraging shoppers to "hang out and go online" in their lounge areas in the store. The executive behind these concept stores is Everything Everywhere's Andrew Coull. He had this to say on the matter:
"I really believe we can get traction from this. We want to turn traditional mobile phone retailing on the high street on its head."
A 3D tour of one of the new stores can be seen in the video below: