Stelios to flog cybercafe sites
Stelios Haji-Ioannou - the founder of no frill airline Easyjet - is to restructure his Internet café business in favour of smaller concession operations in burger bars and supermarkets.
The colourful entrepreneur is to close his main easyInternetcafe site in Oxford Street, according to commercial property mag, Property Week.
Other easyInternetcafe sites in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow are also set to be flogged as Stelios ditches "mega" cybercafes in favour of smaller sites in established premises.
Stelios told Property Week: "I still believe people have a need for Internet businesses, but it is not about running megastores."
Instead, Stelios is already working on getting his cybercafes in existing outlets including McDonald's, Burger King, and supermarket chain Sainsbury's.
But in a statement, a spokesman for Stelios said easyInternetcafe denied the company was closing its large London stores.
"The company has been advised that it can get a sizable premium (make a cash profit) on the sale of the lease of its Oxford street outlet. Only the Oxford street lease has been put on the market.
"The other four London 'megastores', which are only a small part of the overall easyInternetcafe estate of almost 70 stores in nine countries, will be reviewed from time to time as the property market hots up.
"easyInternetcafe wants to be in the internet access business rather than the property business," he said. ®