AT&T shutting down 320 stores
AT&T will be closing 320 of its company-owned AT&T Mobility retail stores in the next coming months. Unfortunately, this also means that over 1,600 workers will be affected by this.
The Communications Workers of America (CWA) union reported that this number is different from the 250 stores that the wireless carrier closed in the early parts of the year.
AT&T shares that the decision to close these stores are part of a larger trend. As more and more people are shifting to buying their services and products online, the shopping practices of buyers have also changed. And this trend has started way before the pandemic.
A representative for the company shared that they are transforming the business and part of this reflects the shopping practices of their customers. “While these plans are not new, they have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The CWA shared that the reduction of physical stores is part of the company’s plan that they proposed last year when the company changes were fought for by hedge fund Elliot Management. During this debate, Elliot pinpointed ways for AT&T to deduct costs in its retail footprint. Among its suggestions were to close down redundant stores and increase the productivity of its workforce. They also recommended the use of authorized retailers, more specifically Prime Communications. The CWA however, shares that these workers earn less than corporate stores employees and have fewer benefits.
AT&T promised to “make every effort to place employees in other nearby AT&T stores.” This means that they will be offering roles to union-represented employees at nearby retail stores or be assigned as a work-at-home call center representative.