BT will start selling smart fridges and coffee machines to boost sales and raise the profile of EE.
EE, the FTSE 100 firm’s retail division, will start selling household electronics from next year in addition to existing products including gaming consoles, laptops and cameras.
That will place it in direct competition with retailers such as Amazon and Currys, while EE expands its online gaming, insurance and subscriptions.
Retail move: EE announced that from next year it will start selling household electronics in addition to existing products including gaming consoles, laptops and cameras
Over the last six months, EE had managed to grab a 12 per cent share of the UK gaming console market despite starting at zero.
It will target consumers who not already signed up to its mobile or broadband services by letting them set up an account giving them access to its goods.
‘With an EE ID, customers will be able to access a wide range of exciting new products, services and experiences easily and conveniently,’ said EE boss Marc Allera. BT shares rose 0.8 per cent, or 0.95p, to 118.3p.
EE and the consumer division is the biggest driver of sales for BT, bringing in around £2.4billion of revenue in the three months to June. BT is now making EE its flagship brand.
‘We will start to see the disappearance of the BT brand on the high street and in people’s homes,’ said analyst Paolo Pescatore.
He added that the decision to move into electronics would be seen as a ‘threat’ by other retailers and put it ‘in pole position compared to its traditional telco rivals’.