EE has stopped all new entries to its franchise programme following what the company describes as ‘record growth’, despite recent and longstanding delays caused by the BT EE deal, according to industry sources.
Though missing their target of having 100 franchise stores open by the end of 2015 (they achieved around 30), sources told Mobile that there are now around 120 franchise stores within the EE portfolio through around 25 franchisees. The retailer posted a message online declaring that they were no longer accepting new franchise partners stating, ‘The EE Franchise programme has achieved record growth so we have made a decision not to add any new franchisees at this time.’
'If our position does change in the future we’ll re-open the website so you can complete an application.’
Sources have told Mobile that EE’s progress throughout 2015 and 2016 was hampered by issues caused by the merger, with the opening of some franchise stores being delayed by over a year.
One told Mobile, ‘The store was supposed to open in 2014 but it actually took until 2016 for it to all get worked out. We were told it is because BT put the breaks on it when they bought EE, it’s unclear what will happen next.’
Despite EE’s online message’s doubtfulness over whether the franchise programme would re-open, a statement from EE to Mobile Magazine clarifies this stating, ‘Franchise remains a key part of our strategy, and our franchise partners continue to provide great service for our customers. We have temporarily paused the expansion of new franchise stores while we’re planning for the next year and beyond, but we are planning to reopen our programme for new franchise retail sites again from this summer.’