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EE Launches Innovative Experiential Studio in London’s Westfield

ByHuey Yee Ong

Mar 5, 2024
EE Launches Innovative Experiential Studio in London's Westfield

EE, one of the United Kingdom’s premier telecommunications companies, has launched an innovative flagship store, dubbed EE Studio, in the heart of London’s bustling Westfield shopping center, located in the White City district. This venture marks a significant departure from the traditional retail model, transforming the concept of a telecommunications store into a 4,230 square-foot experiential platform. The initiative is a response to the rising dominance of e-commerce, especially noted during the peak of the pandemic, challenging the relevance of brick-and-mortar stores in today’s digital age.

How Is EE Redefining the Retail Experience?

EE Studio is not merely a space for transactions but a visionary project designed to immerse customers in the possibilities of connected home technology. The store is laid out in a series of “experience zones,” each meticulously crafted to represent different rooms of a home, showcasing how technology can revolutionize living spaces. This concept mirrors the interactive exhibits found in science museums, making technology both accessible and engaging for the consumer.

The design and conceptualization of EE Studio are the result of a collaboration between EE and renowned design firms Dalziel & Pow and Your Studio. Richard Bennett, creative director at London’s Dalziel & Pow, emphasized the shift in retail towards storytelling and experiential design as a means to captivate consumers. The pandemic underscored the convenience and appeal of online shopping, propelling retailers to innovate beyond the conventional store model. According to Bennett, the physical store’s role has evolved from a place of mere transaction to a venue for experiences and discovery.

A Closer Look at EE Studio’s Experience Zones

EE Studio’s unique experience zones include:

  • Kitchen:
    • Outfitted with the latest smart appliances.
    • Features a refrigerator with a screen to view contents without opening the door.
    • Voice-command capabilities for adding items to shopping lists and placing grocery orders.
  • Child’s Bedroom:
    • Focuses on products that offer both educational value and online safety for children.
  • Living Room and Home Office:
    • Provides a glimpse into the technological advancements shaping the future of these spaces.
    • Showcases how technology can enhance both leisure and work environments.
  • Digital Spa:
    • A tranquil oasis designed to offer a moment of calm.
    • Immersive environment with visuals and audio of natural environments.
    • Aims to provide a digital recharge and a moment of calm reflection for shoppers.
  • Gaming Zone:
    • Features the latest video games and consoles.
    • Offers an interactive play area for gaming enthusiasts.
    • EE Guides available to offer advice on game bundles and plans.

EE’s Brand Ambassadors: More Than Just Sales Clerks

The staffing approach at EE Studio further differentiates the store from traditional retail outlets. Employees are positioned as brand ambassadors, focusing on creating a memorable experience rather than merely facilitating sales. This strategy aligns with the store’s overarching goal of fostering a deeper connection between the consumer and the technology.

What’s in a Name? The Significance Behind ‘EE Studio’

One of the most intriguing aspects of EE Studio is its nomenclature. The decision to label the space a “studio” rather than a store was deliberate, reflecting EE’s ambition to create an environment of active engagement and participation. This choice highlights the store’s dynamic nature and its focus on creativity and innovation.

EE Studio represents the fourth iteration of EE’s Experience stores and spearheads the company’s commitment to investing £6 million in revitalizing the British high street over the coming year. This ambitious plan includes the launch of more than ten new Experience and Experience Local locations across the UK, each designed to offer customers an immersive platform to explore the latest in connected technology.

The Impact of EE’s New Approach

The introduction of EE Studio and its subsequent Experience stores is a testament to EE’s belief in the enduring value of physical retail, coupled with a strategic vision to enhance customer engagement through innovative store formats. The flagship Studio store in London, along with Experience stores in Manchester, Cardiff, and Kent, and the more recent Experience Local stores in Derby and Guildford, signify a new era of retail that combines technology, experience, and customer wellbeing.

The impact of these new retail concepts is already evident. The EE Studio store in Westfield London reported a staggering 250% increase in footfall compared to its predecessor, while the Experience stores in Kent, Cardiff, and Manchester saw a 35% increase in footfall. These figures underscore the success of EE’s experiential retail strategy in attracting more customers and encouraging longer visits.

The Metrocentre’s new Experience store is another highlight of EE’s retail expansion. Located in a prime position, the store offers dedicated experience zones and a connected home zone, providing an immersive space for customers in the greater Newcastle area to explore the latest connected technology. The store’s design emphasizes interactive and hands-on experiences across four key areas: work, home, learn, and game, further demonstrating EE’s commitment to redefining the shopping experience.

Shay Given, a renowned figure, praised EE’s new store in the Metrocentre, highlighting the combination of technology, experiences, and expert advice as a “winning hat-trick.” Asif Aziz, Retail Director at EE, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the company’s dedication to elevating the retail experience through significant investment and innovation.

Ben Cox, Senior Asset Manager at Sovereign Centros, lauded EE’s new Experience store as a fantastic addition to the Metrocentre’s Platinum Mall. The store’s presence reinforces the importance of physical and experiential retail in enhancing the overall shopping experience for visitors, marking a continued commitment by EE to innovate and evolve within the retail landscape.

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Featured Image courtesy of EE Newsroom

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.