BT will start selling kitchen appliances, such as smart refrigerators, kettles and espresso machines. The telecoms group is looking for ways to boost its growth and increase the visibility of its consumer brand.
EE’s retail and mobile division will begin selling household electronics in the coming year, along with the existing entertainment products it sells such as smart TVs, laptops and cameras. EE plans to expand gaming, subscription and insurance services.
“Telcos don’t seem to be as important, and people don’t think about their network providers. . . Marc Allera is the chief executive officer of EE. He said that the company was worried and wanted to do something else. This announcement came ahead of a marketing campaign and rebranding of the EE brand.
This move is made just before Allison Kirkby succeeds Philip Jansen in the role of BT CEO. The company has also been cutting costs to improve performance. The company’s share price is down about a quarter in the last six months.
Allera stated that “device-as-a-service retailing”, in which physical goods are sold along with software subscriptions, was “a significant” opportunity for BT.
He said that EE had a network of UK call centres and stores, as well as a brand new online customer portal. This, he added, made EE a strong competitor to online-only retail.
It is not about revenue and financials, but rather increasing relevance to consumers. We risk being perceived as a commodity.
EE offers insurance for certain devices, and will expand into other areas in the future such as home and travel. It will also launch a TV application to bring live channels on Apple TV 4K.
BT stated that EE has gone from zero percent to around 12 percent market share in gaming consoles over the last six months.
According to a source, the cost of marketing the new EE Brand is estimated to be high tens or even hundreds of millions of pounds.
BT’s consumer division was its biggest revenue generator in the three-month period ending June 30. It brought in £2.4bn, or nearly half of the group’s revenue. In a restructuring last year, BT announced that all consumer products would be moved to the EE brand.
Paolo Pescatore is the founder and TMT analyst of PP Foresight. He said that the decision was made to increase value for existing customers while attracting new users. The consumer arm has more than 25mn subscribers.
Allera was tipped to be the top internal candidate for the role of chief executive, but BT announced that Kirkby will replace Jansen at the end January 2024. She is a non executive director at BT and currently CEO of Sweden’s Telia.
BT announced in May that it would reduce its workforce up to 42 percent by 2030. This is equivalent to between 40,000 to 55,000 jobs. The group claimed to have saved £2.1bn as part of its cost-cutting program, moving towards the £3bn target.