EE is moving the POS tech at its phone shops to… phones

As part of a general rethink of its retail strategy, UK operator EE has decided it makes sense to get rid of tills and arm its in-store staff only with smartphones.

Scott Bicheno

May 29, 2024

3 Min Read

While this move feels like a no-brainer, it was apparently only made possible by technology provided by unified commerce solution provider Aptos. Its Cloud POS [point of sale] tech apparently empowers any old mobile device with the ability to do all the commercial stuff that would previously have been done through fixed tills and other bespoke equipment.

If for no other reason, it makes sense for EE staff (or ‘guides’ as it apparently insists on calling them) to demonstrate the omnipotence of smartphones to any prospective customers that may remain sceptical about their utility. This also fits in with a broader EE push to revamp its shops to make them more of an ‘experience’. The removal of fixed POS clutter will help create the impression of walking into something that feels more like a utopian living room.


“We’re reinventing the role of retail in the telco industry by putting customer experience, innovation and community front and centre,” said Asif Aziz, Retail Director at EE. “Reflective of our investments in digital transformation, we are embracing store formats that blend physical and digital experiences. 

“With our modern approach to bricks-and-mortar, we knew we had to rethink the in-store shopper journey and the tools that enable it. Aptos was the right POS partner to bring our vision to life. Our IT modernisation efforts have been very well-received by our guides and they are now able to spend even more time focusing on the needs of our customers.”

“EE stores have transcended far beyond a traditional phone shop,” said Zaki Hassan, General Manager for EMEA and APAC at Aptos. “EE’s investment in innovative experiences on the high street should be admired and applauded. If you want to see the future of retail, simply step into EE’s Studio and Experience stores. We are delighted to have Aptos’ POS being rolled out across the EE retail estate.”

That estate amounts to 400 or so shops. Most won’t be so spacious and replete with comfy sofas but any of them can be differentiated from the traditional high street paradigm. This retail strategy is also presumably designed to complement the broader strategic revamp unveiled last October. While BT is hoping to establish the EE brand as a broader consumer destination, the UK press hilariously characterised it as a decision to start selling fridges and kettles.

‘The EE Studio and Experience stores have been designed to empower customers with the best connectivity and technology solutions for their whole connected life,’ says the POS release. ‘Featuring carefully curated ‘experience zones’ and ‘room sets’, each store demonstrates how cutting-edge technology and connectivity enhances consumers’ everyday lives, while also serves as a hub for the local community to work, learn and play.’

That last bit might be a bit optimistic but, then again, if they start offering free coffee then who knows? While it’s easy to be sceptical about the new EE consumer strategy, it has to be applauded for trying something. In the absence of new ideas telcos are on a path to becoming little more than commoditised utility providers. If these revamped shops end up having a positive effect on ARPU – whether through the sales of fridges or otherwise – then they must surely be deemed a success.

About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno

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