Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The easyGroup, founded in 1998, is the holding company controlling the “easy” ventures; it is privately owned by Stelios Haji-Ioannou.
Many of the companies follow the “easy” format of taking away the frills in something to make it cheaper overall, plus using the yield management system of supply and demand. In the last few years the company has started to franchise the businesses to expanded and cut down costs. It is based in the Rotunda in Camden Town, London, United Kingdom.
It started with his no frills airline easyJet in March 1995 then later his set-up the internet café chain, easyEverything (now easyInternetcafé). In April 2000 the company set-up the car rental company, easyRentacar (now easyCar) and, later, internet shopping comparison site, easyValue, firstly in partnership with Kelkoo, then switching to Shopping.com.
On 21st August 2001, the credit card company, easyMoney was set up with Accucard (now part of Lloyds TSB), which was expanded on 14th February 2005 with the announcement that unbundled car insurance products provided by Zurich would be sold later in the year.
The 23rd May 2003, the cinema company, easyCinema at the Point cinema in Milton Keynes was opened, offering screenings from 20p if booked in well in advance. The cinema initially struggled as major distributors were not prepared release new films to the company using the yield-management model. First run films are now available, but at fixed prices. The cinema has also relented on not serving popcorn and drinks (claimed to to save cleaning costs); these are now available for £1.
December 2004 was an active period for easyGroup. On the 9th December 2004, the men's toiletries range easy4men was launched together with Boots. easyJobs, a partnership with Monster.com , began operation on 11th December 2004. On the 17th December 2004, the company lanuched easyPizza, a yield management a delivery only pizza company in Milton Keynes. This was followed quickly by easyMusic, in conjuction with Wippit, on 22 December 2004, with copyrighted music downloads offered from 25p, although minimum transaction value is £1 and there are charges for using credit cards and SMS payment methods.
Internet bookings for easyCruise were accepted from 10th February 2005, for planned launch on 13th May 2005, which could be brought forward to 29th April 2005. The service will operate night-time departures calling between ports in St. Tropez, Cannes, Nice, Monaco, Imperia , Genoa and Portofino. It is possible to join the ship at any port and stay for a minimum of two, to a maximum of fourteen nights. Prices vary according to cabin type and demand. In a departure from the model employed by easyJet it will be possible to book via travel agents as well as direct through the easyCruise website.
The cabins offer a simple bed and bathroom: most will not have windows and use of a maid service during the stay will incur an additional charge.
easyCruise, based in Liberia, is a wholly owned subsidiary of easyGroup. The service will be managed by V Ships of Monaco.
The launch of easyCruise will be tracked for a Sky One documentary.
easyMobile started on 10th March 2005 as Britain's only no-frills mobile phone company. The idea is that people buy a £20 SIM with £20 worth of credit from the company's website www.easymobile.com and put it at the back of the mobile phone. Calls are charged at 15p per minute for calls and 5p per SMS, although there is currently an introductory offer until the end of June of 9p per minute and 3p per SMS.
Rival mobile service, Orange, is suing easyGroup as it claims the use of the orange easyMobile logo breaches its trademark and may confuse customers. easyGroup challenges this assertion.
easyCinema DVD Rental
The 10th March 2005 also saw the commencement of easyCinema DVD Rental, first announced in November 2004. This is a partnership with Video Island, the company operating rental services for several other retail brands. However, unlike many on-line DVD rental services, there is no monthly subscription but the user purchases credits at £1.99 each (minimum purchase is 4 credits). One credit permits one DVD rental and a maximum of three DVDs can be rented at one time. For customers renting one disc per week the offering is competitive to the subscription services, which typically allow one rental at a time, charging around £7.97  to £9.99  per month.
- easyJet – no frills airline
- easyInternetcafé – internet cafés (formerly known as easyEverything)
- easyCar – no frills car rental
- easyValue – Internet shopping comparison
- easyMoney – credit cards at easymoneycreditcard.com and (to be launched) insurance at easymoneyinsurance.com
- easyCinema – no frills cinemas
- easyBus – no frills bus company
- easy4men – a men's toiletries range
- easyJobs – an employment search engine
- easyPizza – a yield management pizza delivery company.
- easyMusic – an Internet music website with a mixture of well known and unsigned bands
- easyCruise – a no frills cruise line
- easyMobile – an internet, no frills mobile phone service
- easyCinema DVD rental - a pay-as-you-go online DVD rental
In the pipeline
- easyTelecom – a fixed telephone provider
- easyHotel – a no frills hotel (in progress, possibly in mid 2005) and hotel booking service (running). The easyHotel is at 14 Lexham Gardens, Kensington, London W8 5JE.
- easyMoneyInsurance - unbundled car insurance in partnership with Zurich, part of the easyMoney business
- easyWatch - a Swatch-style range of watches made by Zeon . See Reuters article 
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