(Pocket-lint) - EE will close 78 of its newly branded stores, after a review of its retail needs, with the first closures to come in February.
The newly formed 4G company EE took over the high street stores of T-Mobile and Orange, rebranding all of the shops in the new EE livery and opening to the public on 30 October 2012.
At the time, the move seemed rather dramatic, as in several locations it meant that EE then had two stores on the same street, often pretty close together.
The decision has been reached to close 78 of the 700 stores (11 per cent), but it looks as though there will be no job losses.
"All front-line staff will be moving to the other store, which will boost service levels significantly. A store can only have one manager, so we will look to redeploy the small number of affected managers where possible," EE says.
The result should be that there are more staff in the remaining 626 stores so service levels should be boosted. And it makes sense to remove stores that are almost side by side.
"As part of this, where we have two EE stores in very close proximity to each other - in some places they are just a door away - we have decided to consolidate," says EE. "This makes commercial sense and will also help us manage the high levels of demand in our stores and improve the customer experience."
We suspected this would happen, but if you see an EE store with a closing down sign - don't panic - the one on the other side of the street is still open.
You can read all about EE and the UK's first 4G LTE network on our dedicated EE homepage.