Alliance & Leicester (A&L) will open two new-style retail outlets tomorrow (Thursday).The outlets, branded “movingimproving”, will target homebuyers and home improvers with the bank’s financial products.
The outlets, in Banbury, Oxfordshire, and Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, will give free advice on the house-buying process. This includes search facilities for vacant local property and details of businesses such as builders and plumbers.
If successful, further branches will be rolled out across the country from 2002, although specific expansion plans have not been finalised.
Stores will offer financial advice on A&L mortgages, credit cards and loans, although there will be no obligation to apply. Stores will not contain counters for banking transactions.
Breakfast and coffee bars will be included in stores, along with lounge areas. Both stores have Internet desks providing information on A&L and other property-related sites.
A&L has 310 retail branches in the UK, and the movingimproving stores will not replace any of these.
A&L business strategy and marketing director Tim Pile says: “As a major lender we recognise that many customers come to us for more than a mortgage or further borrowing for home improvements.
“They often want guidance on the process of home ownership and improvements.”