Easy plans retail role for NetCafé

Stelios Haji-Ioannou is looking to turn his troubled easyInternetCafé stores into retail outlets in order to generate revenue.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou is looking to turn his troubled easyInternetCafé stores into retail outlets in order to generate revenue.

The chain, which has been rebranded from easyEverything, is in talks with retailers about putting concessions in its UK outlets over the coming months. It will extend the scheme to its large stores in New York and Paris if it is successful. The company has 21 stores in eight countries.

Although names have not been disclosed, corporate affairs director James Rothnie confirmed that an electrical retailer was involved in the negotiations. He added that deals to install money exchanges and money-transfer facilities were also being looked at.

The company has Café Nescafé coffee shop franchises in its London stores, but Rothnie says the Easy Group will want to outsource this service.

He says: “Originally we didn’t know whether the stores would be used by business people as well as consumers. Now we know they are purely Internet cafés for consumers. We know who our customers are and what they want. The business works, but what we want to do is reduce costs.”

Haji-Ioannou said last week that he is putting &£15m of his own money into the chain to save it from insolvency. EasyInternetCafé chief executive Maurice Kelly has left the company, although marketing director Marc Bell remains at his post.

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