|Headquarters||Mayfair, City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom|
|Key people||Stelios Haji-Ioannou|
Many of the companies offer a no-frills service and use the yield management system to set prices. In the last few years the company has started to franchise the businesses to expand, and cut down costs. The group's registered office is in South Kensington, London,.
- 1 EasyGroup brands
- 2 Legal action
- 3 References
- 4 External links
EasyJet is a low-cost airline which began flying on 10 November 1995. It is one of the two largest budget airlines in Europe, alongside its sometimes bitter rival Ryanair. It was the first company owned by EasyGroup to use the "easy" prefix. EasyJet Airline Company Limited is a separate company which licenses the "easyJet" name from easyGroup.
Fastjet is a low cost airline that operates in Africa, following a similar business model to EasyJet.
EasyInternetcafé (formerly EasyEverything) is Europe's largest chain of Internet cafés, launched in 1999.
In April 2000 the company set-up the car rental company EasyRentacar (later renamed EasyCar), with the only rental car available being the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. The car rental business, which suffered from financial losses and a reputation for poor service, has since closed. The new EasyCar company now operates as an international car rental broker via the Internet. The business is profitable and operates in more than 2,400 locations in over 60 countries, selling a full fleet of vehicles, including Prestige Cars in the UK.
On 21 August 2001 the credit card company, EasyMoney was set up with Accucard (now part of Lloyds TSB), which was expanded on 14 February 2005 with the announcement that unbundled car insurance products provided by Zurich would be sold later in the year at EasyMoney insurance . In April 2006, EasyGroup linked with Moneysupermarket.com to provide a financial product comparison website. This coincided with the withdrawal of the EasyMoney credit card .
On 23 May 2003 the cinema company, EasyCinema at The Point, Milton Keynes was opened at a former UCI site, offering screenings from 20p if booked well in advance. The cinema initially struggled as major distributors were not prepared to release new films to the company using the yield-management model.
Towards the end of its life, the cinema site also housed an EasyInternetcafé and was a pick-up point for EasyPizza. However, following a dispute over unpaid rent with the landlord, Odeon, which resulted in eviction, the EasyCinema closed in May 2006 and reopened as an Odeon cinema.
easyCinema Online DVD Rental
10 March 2005 saw the commencement of EasyCinema Online DVD Rental (stylised as easyCinema), first announced in November 2004. This is a partnership with LOVEFiLM, the company operating rental services for several other retail brands. However, unlike many online DVD rental services, there is no monthly subscription but the user purchases credits at £2.03 each (minimum purchase is 4 credits). One credit permits one disc rental and a maximum of three titles can be rented at one time, depending on how many credits are pre-purchased. For customers renting less than four discs a month the offering is competitive compared to the subscription services, which typically allow one rental at a time, charging around £7.97 to £9.99 per month. The prices are the same for Blu-ray disc rentals.
In late July 2012 easyCinema announced that as of 1 August 2012 the easyCinema website and branding will cease and instead will be operated by LOVEFiLM.
EasyBus began operating on 30 July 2004. The company currently offers a low-cost express minibus service between Central London and three London airports: Gatwick, Stansted and Luton. Journeys can be booked via the EasyBus website, or customers can purchase, usually at higher prices, from the EasyBus airport sales desks, or by paying the driver if joining in London. Online bookings offer guaranteed seats on specific services.
On 9 December 2004 the men's toiletries range Easy4Men was launched together with Boots. Originally conceived to challenge Gillette, the product line did not include a razor. After disappointing sales the partnership with Boots was dissolved in 2006. As of 2011, it is no longer in operation.
A delivery-only pizza company launched in 2004.
EasyMusic, in conjunction with Wippit, began operation on 22 December 2004, with copyrighted music downloads offered from 25p, although the minimum transaction value is £1 and there are charges for using credit cards and SMS payment methods. A proposed copyleft section of EasyMusic never materialised.
As of January 2008, EasyMusic no longer sells download music, but sells CDs in conjunction with CD-WOW.COM. When purchasing a CD, customers are diverted to the CD-WOW website and a discount is usually applied which varies depending on purchase, most transactions cost around 15p.
A no frills cruise ship targeting the 18-40 age-group, rather than the traditional retired market, was launched on Friday 6 May 2005. The first vessel was known as EasyCruiseOne. Expansion of the EasyCruise fleet was announced in 2006. A franchise operation using a converted river freighter EasyCruiseTwo operated from 2006 until 17 August 2007. A third ship, a converted ferry, EasyCruise Life was purchased and began service in May 2008. EasyCruiseOne was sold in late 2008
The EasyCruiseOne cabins offered a simple bed and bathroom: most did not originally have windows and use of a maid service during the stay incurred an additional charge. The initial idea of requiring customers to be responsible for all room cleaning or incur a penalty charge "didn't go down too well".
EasyMobile was a mobile virtual network operator, operating a pay as you go service, which closed in early December 2006 following a string of negative publicity and the withdrawal of its principal backer, TDC.
Rival mobile service, Orange, attempted to sue EasyGroup as it claimed the use of the orange EasyMobile logo breached its trademark and could confuse customers. EasyGroup challenged this assertion.
EasyMobile chose The Link to be its sole independent retailer in March 2006, adding UK electrical retailer Comet to its vendors in May 2006. In April 2005, it was announced EasyMobile would expand into the Netherlands by summer 2005 in partnership with Telfort. Nine months after launch the operation ceased on 1 August 2006 and the EasyMobile.nl website would be transformed into a telecoms price-comparison engine in partnership with Kelkoo. In September 2005 it was announced that the service would also launch in Germany in partnership with T-Mobile . On 10 November 2006 Talkline Gmbh & Co. KG, a German subsidiary of TDC Mobile International, bought 100% of EasyMobile Germany and EasyMobile Germany was renamed Callmobile. The MNVO Callmobile is still operated by Talkline.
On 10 November 2006 the EasyGroup terminated the brand license for EasyMobile. All customers were offered transfers to fresh mobile or a PAC to join another network. The network closed on 13 December at midnight and the Easymobile.com website was transformed into a telecoms price-comparison engine. EasyMobile was temporarily called ShimmerBright in the UK before it was shut down permanently in February 2007.
In January 2008 the EasyGroup launched a partnership with the Mobile VoIP provider Rebtel. With this service, users can make international calls for the cost of a local call from their regular mobile phone and carrier without additional software downloads, Internet connections or computers. The service leverages VoIP technology to route the international leg of the call over the Internet passing the savings on to the user.
EasyHotel is a "no frills super budget" hotel operator with hotels located in South Kensington, Victoria, Paddington, Heathrow, and Earls Court, London as well as Luton, Amsterdam, Basel, Zurich, Budapest, Sofia, Porto, Berlin, Larnaca, Dubai, Edinburgh, Budapest, The Hague and Glasgow. Rooms contain a double bed, are en-suite and one wall panel is orange in colour with corporate logos on the wall and doors. Toiletries (except soap/shampoo) are not supplied and the use of the TV and the housekeeping facility is at an additional charge. Reservations must be made online, with the price less expensive the further in advance one books. The EasyHotel website also acts as a booking engine for 20,000 other hotels worldwide through Octopus Travel.
EasyGroup announced the launch of a chain of no frill gyms called EasyGym in May 2011, with the first two branches in Slough and Wood Green.
- EasyValue - An internet shopping comparison site began trading in November 2000, first independently, using software from Autonomy, then later in partnership with Kelkoo, switching to Shopping.com following Yahoo's acquisition of Kelkoo.
- Easy.com - A free e-mail service began in November 2000. This site now also acts as the easyGroup main portal.
- EasyJobs – An employment search engine, a partnership with JobSite.co.uk
- EasyWatch - A range of watches made by Zeon, which was claimed to be filling the void left by the Swatch brand. EasyWatches are typically orange and feature a large, prominent EasyWatch logo, which watch collectors say makes them look like a free corporate giveaway rather than a desirable or collectable product. EasyWatch used names such as Portofino, resulting in trademark claims.
- EasyTelecom – Mobile phone comparison site powered by Kelkoo.
- EasyVan – Like EasyCar, EasyVan.com operates with outside suppliers to provide van rental across the UK. EasyVan provide van hire from more than 120 locations throughout the United Kingdom.
- EasyOffice – owned and operated by the EasyGroup, opened in Kensington High Street in London on 14 November 2007 and is taking bookings.
EasyGroup has threatened legal action against several businesses using "easy" as part of their name. In 2005, EasyGroup threatened legal action against a Welsh company which had been trading as EasyMobile since 2003, two years before the launch of EasyGroup's EasyMobile business. EasyGroup dropped action against London businessman Karl Kahn after it emerged that his EasyPizza business predated EasyGroup's business of the same name by several years. In 2008, a restaurant in Northampton agreed to stop calling itself "easyCurry" after threats of legal action from EasyGroup.
EasyGroup has even sued EasyJet over their use of the "easy" branding. EasyJet offers travel-associated "extras" such as hotel bookings under the "easyJethotels" brand, and car hire under "easyJetcarhire". EasyGroup contended that it licenced the "easyJet" brand primarily for airline use, and that using the brand for hotel and car hire interfered with other easyGroup businesses.
- Jardine, Cassandra (29 November 2006). "They'd laugh if I called myself Sir…". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2007-09-07.
- "How to find us". easyGroup website. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
- Gavin Richardson (13 April 2006). "news : easyMoney expands". easy.com. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
- Duffy, Jonathan (23 May 2003). "Cinema Paradiso it ain't". BBC News. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- "'No frills' Easycinema shuts down". BBC News. 30 May 2006. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- Gibson, Owen (25 July 2005). "EasyCinema eyes West End debut". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- Clark, Andrew (29 May 2006). "Rent rise brings down curtain on easyCinema". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- Gavin Richardson (9 December 2004). "news : easy4men has launched". easy.com. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
- Martinson, Jane (5 May 2006). "The Big Easy enters choppy waters". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- Starmer-Smith, Charles (29 September 2011). "Launching a new airline won't be easy for Sir Stelios". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
- Gavin Richardson (8 May 2006). "news : letter of intent signed between easyCruise and Neorion Holdings for the construction of up to 4 new cruiseships in Greece". easy.com. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
- "Here comes Stelios Just when you thought it was safe to go to the Riviera". The Times (London). 8 May 2005. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- "EasyCruise Sold to Hellenic Seaways". Cruise Industry News. 18 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
- "Easymobile to close down service". BBC News. 13 November 2006. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- "Business | Easygroup launches mobile service". BBC News. 10 March 2005. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
- Gavin Richardson (19 May 2006). "news : easyMobile launches in Comet". easy.com. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
- "easyMobile moves into the Netherlands | silicon.com". Networks.silicon.com. 8 April 2005. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
- By Unknown (31 July 2010). "Easyjet to enter Edinburgh hotel market - Scotsman.com News". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
- "EasyGym to open up to 10 centres a year". The Independent. 29 May 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- "Posh Richemont latest to sue Stelios". The Register. 2005-11-18. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
- "Hard cheese for Stelios in EasyPizza case". The Register. 2006-06-20. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
- "Easy name curry house climbs down". BBC. 2008-07-23. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
- Robertson, David (16 August 2008). "Stelios takes easyJet to court over branding". The Times (London). Retrieved 2009-09-06.
Media related to EasyGroup at Wikimedia Commons
- EasyGroup website - For group information, latest news and links to other EasyGroup companies.
- EasyMobile comes back with free mobile calls, says Stelios, Markus Göbel's Tech News Comments, 13 July 2007
- EasyMobile.nl flops, The Register, 6 July 2006
- Hard cheese for Stelios in EasyPizza case, The Register, 20 June 2006
- The Big Easy enters choppy waters, The Guardian, 5 May 2006
- 'No frills' EasyCinema shuts down, BBC, 30 May 2006
- "EasyCinema eyes West End debut", The Guardian, 25 July 2005
- "Stelios completes 10 years over easy" The Times (UK), 9 July 2005
- "What's Orange and Floats? That's easy..." EasyCruise article, The Observer (UK), 8 May 2005
- "Here comes Stelios ... Just when you thought it was safe to go to the Riviera", The Sunday Times (UK), 8 May 2005
- "EasyMobile's attempt to break into the UK market flops", Daily Telegraph (UK), 8 May 2005
- No frills and little sleep in Basel's EasyHotel, Swissinfo, 6 September 2005