EasyGroup to launch cinemas and hostels in worldwide expansion

Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s easyGroup is looking to move into cinemas and hostels. The group plans to set up two separate companies for the ventures, which it would ultimately hope to float on the stock exchange.

EasyGroup is seeking to set up cinemas in London and then roll them out across Europe under the name easyCinema.

The group is considering pay-per-view evenings at these cinemas, using a provider such as BSkyB, where customers would pay about &£5 to watch live events such as boxing bouts or football matches.

Hostels – under the name easyDorm – are being considered for London, Paris and New York. EasyGroup corporate affairs director James Rothnie says sleeping areas would be communal but every guest would have their own small bathroom. It is hoped that this approach would make the hostels attractive to traditional motel users, as well as backpackers.

Rothnie comments: “If you look at the standard and the price of youth hostels, the market is ripe.

“We’re looking at the cost of the idea but we think we can make a plc out of this.”

No timescale has been set for the businesses.

The plans are being hatched at a difficult time for easyGroup. Haji-Ioannou this month said he was looking to open concessions for retailers in his rebranded easyInternetCafé outlets and had to put &£15m of his own money into the venture to save it from collapse (MW October 4).

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