EE is today unveiling its latest Experience store alongside former Newcastle United legend Shay Given in the Metrocentre, Gateshead, one of Europe’s largest indoor mall-style shopping centres. The new store is the fourth of EE’s Experience stores and the first of more than ten brand-new EE Experience and Experience Local stores set to open in the UK over the next year. The announcement comes as EE commits to investing £6 million in the British high street in the next 12 months, a sign of EE’s belief in, and ongoing commitment to, brick-and-mortar retail.
EE continues to reinvent retail in the telco industry, putting customer experience, community focus and innovation at the heart of its strategy to be the most personal, customer focused brand in the UK. This approach has seen the launch of new store formats including its flagship Studio store in London, Experience stores in Manchester, Cardiff and Kent, and most recently its Experience Local stores in Derby and Guildford.
The new retail strategy was announced in June 2023 with the launch of the EE Studio store in Westfield London, White City. Featuring an immersive Digital Spa to support customers’ wellbeing and a Gaming Zone, the innovative new store has seen an increase in footfall by 250% compared to the previous EE store in Westfield London, White City.
EE’s refreshed retail approach continues to be well-received by customers across the country. The Experience stores in Kent, Cardiff and Manchester have all seen footfall increase by 35% compared to the previous stores in these locations.
Now, EE is bringing its latest store format to the Metrocentre in Gateshead, one of the top five UK regional supermalls. The Metrocentre experienced an incredibly successful 2023, and increased dwell time by 15%, with EE’s new Experience store expected to bring in even more customers.
The EE Experience store occupies a new, bigger site and has been designed with dedicated experience zones and a connected home zone with living room set to give shoppers in the greater Newcastle area a more immersive space to get hands on with the latest connected technology. Those visiting the store will discover the future of connected living across four key areas: work, home, learn and game.
The experience zones include:
Welcome Zone: A welcoming and dynamic shopfront, featuring a digital window canvas, letting customers see the latest product launches and in-store offers before they even step inside.
Gaming Zone: Featuring the most up-to-date games and consoles, customers can level up their gaming experience in-store. EE Guides will offer expert advice on bundles and plans, allowing shoppers to unlock their inner gamer.
Base Camp: An inviting area for customers to sit down and stay a while, complete with comfortable sofas, as well as work benches and collaborative worktops, allowing customers to catch up on emails, or chat to EE Guides about products, services and repairs.
Tech Live: Consumers can shop with confidence, testing out tech before making a purchase. The newest tech is on display and is refreshed regularly, with visitors able to browse and purchase online.
The Experience store also brings to life the future of the connected home, with shoppers able to see the potential first-hand through a curated connected home zone including tech and online security tools that enhance the working-from-home experience, and a living room complete with super-fast broadband, a smart TV and connected speakers.
Shay Given, Newcastle United legend, said: “EE has scored with its new shop in the Metrocentre, bringing tech, experiences and expert advice to shoppers – a winning hat-trick. It’s great to be part of the team alongside the EE Guides today as the 12thman, opening the store for the brilliant people of Newcastle, and beyond, to visit”.
EE is committed to offering the most personal, customer-focused service on the high street. The team in the Metrocentre store are encouraged to show their personal interests and passion for tech in their day-to-day roles, advising customers on how to elevate their everyday with connected technology and helping to digitally upskill the local community.
Asif Aziz OBE, Retail Director at EE, said: “We are excited to launch our latest Experience store in the brilliant tech hub of Newcastle, giving our customers and the local community a chance to experience the newest innovations across smart home and gaming. We are committed to elevating the retail experience for shoppers across the UK through a multi-million-pound investment that will transform our stores over the next year. Our ambition is to be the most personal, customer-focused brand in the UK, and our new Gateshead Experience store plays a key part in bringing this to life”.
Ben Cox, Senior Asset Manager at Sovereign Centros, said: “EE’s new Experience store is a fantastic addition to the Metrocentre’s Platinum Mall, embedding itself next to key retailers within the scheme. It emphasises the importance of physical and experiential retail in elevating the shopping experience for visitors and following EE’s previous success at Metrocentre in Red Mall, we’re pleased to see further commitment by the brand in a new and enhanced space as the centre continues to evolve, following a strong 2023”.
The Gateshead EE Experience store opens in the Metrocentre at 12pm on Friday 9th February, with an exclusive appearance from former Newcastle United legend, Shay Given. Throughout the day, exclusive-in store deals, offers and entertainment will be available for shoppers.