EE’s wide-ranging review into its consumer distribution strategy, which has seen it put its indirect relationships under the spotlight for nearly six months, is to be extended until August, Mobile has learnt.
The review was due to conclude by the end of June but EE told Mobile this week it will make its final report in August.
Noel Hamill, Director of Partnerships told Mobile: ‘Our thorough review of the consumer channel is ongoing, and no decision is likely to be reached until August when we will communicate directly with all partners.’
The consumer distribution review was launched in January and has seen the operator run the rule over all its indirect partners, no matter how large or small.
It has put EE’s third party retailers, which include Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4u, Fonehouse and A1 Comms as well as third party entities, on red alert as they wait for the outcome of the operator’s review.
The consumer distribution review is being conducted against the backdrop of a fundamental shift in operator and retailer relationships. Last year Three pulled out ofCarphone Warehouse after leaving Phones 4u the year before. This year Vodafone announced plans to concentrate on its direct channels by opening up a further 250 stores in 2014. More recently Phones 4u announced a complete split with O2.
The review was also announced shortly after EE’s decision to increase its presence on the high street with new concept stores and franchise stores.
EE said, when announcing the review in January, that it was seeking ‘fewer, deeper, longer term relationships with key partners.’