E.ON to revive high street energy stores after 13-year absence

E.ON's new 'Open House' concept aims to bring energy back to high street
E.ON's new 'Open House' concept aims to bring energy back to high street

E.ON is claiming the launch of a concept store marks a "sea change" in the energy sector which has not had a high street store since 1999.

The energy firm will open the 'Open House' store in Nottingham’s city centre in October and will run it as a six-month trial with the intention of rolling out more stores in the future.

Customers will be able to manage bills, solve problems and learn about energy-saving initiatives by speaking with trained E.ON representatives.

Marketing agency RPM is working with E.ON on the 'Open House' concept store, which will draw attention to other city-wide initiatives such as smart metering, community events and job creation schemes.

E.ON has already committed to the city with initiatives including the sponsorship of the Nottingham Riviera and Nottingham Cycle Live event.

The energy firm claims the store is not sales focused and is more concerned about providing a "face" to the brand and helping existing customers save energy.

Open House will also act as a hub for customers to access rewards and priority tickets for events including Cycle Live and the Nottingham Riviera events.

Jeremy Davies, marketing director at E.ON, said: "Being back on the high-street is a real sea-change for the energy industry.

"Our Open House allows customers to speak to us face to face at a time and place that’s convenient to them".

British Gas is already trialling new ways of dealing with customers face to face with brand experience centres in Westfield. It is also testing selling at shopping centres, county shows and festivals following the closure of its field-sales operation.

However, E.ON believes its Open House is a true return to the high-street because it is the only energy company providing face to face customer service as an alternative to a call centre.

The initiative comes after E.ON commissioned a YouGov poll that found face-to-face contact was ranked the best way of getting a response from a company.

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