First store to open in Gosport, Hants
Leading energy challenger brand, Utilita, wants to help regenerate the UK’s ailing town centres by bringing utility shops back to the High Street.
Utilita’s first store officially opens later this month in Gosport, near Portsmouth, as part of a trial that could see it open similar stores across the country.
The innovative scheme harks back to the old regional Electricity Board shops of the 70s and 80s and comes at a time with many household names shutting up shop.
The store initiative reinforces its reputation for innovation; Utilita was the first energy company to install a smart meter in the UK and now around 90% of its customers have one in their homes – the highest proportion of any UK supplier.
The new store, which opens at 67 High Street, Gosport, will provide the opportunity for customers to get energy efficiency advice, top-up their energy meters and speak directly with Utilita staff. There will also be an interactive area for children to learn about energy.
Utilita’s move in to Britain’s battered and beleaguered High Street is in stark contrast to recent news of shop closures by Mothercare, Marks and Spencer, Maplin, New Look and Poundworld.
The company says it is merely responding to what its customers want.
Steve Parker, Director of Retail at Utilita, said:
“While a number of firms, including famous household brands, are closing shops, we believe there is still huge potential on Britain’s High Street.
“Our research suggests many customers want to be able to interact with us directly rather than rely solely on the phone, email or on social media – the shop provides that option.
“We are a Which? Top 5 supplier for customer satisfaction, which shows we take what our customers want very seriously. We are very excited about this project. Other companies claim to be ‘disruptors’, but Utilita has consistently challenged the status quo.”
He also revealed there are plans to offer other products and services in the store in the future, adding:
“In many ways, this is a throwback to the ‘70s and 80s when the regional utility board shops where a familiar site on the high street and anyone could pop in. Those days were seemingly over but we want to bring energy back to the High Street – in every sense.”
Notes to editor:
Utilita, headquartered in Eastleigh, Hampshire, is one of the fastest growing, independent energy suppliers in the UK, trebling in size in under three years from 200,000 customers (July 2015) to more than 660,000 (July 2018) across the UK.