AT&T has confirmed that it’s cutting thousands of jobs and closing hundreds of stores, Axios reports. While the company has not confirmed the total number of jobs affected, the cuts reportedly include 3,400 technician and clerical jobs as well as managerial and executive roles. And 250 retail locations will be closed, including both AT&T and Cricket Wireless branded stores, the Communication Workers of America confirmed — although AT&T said most of these employees will be offered alternative jobs at the company.
Although AT&T said that the store closures had been planned previously, the pandemic has reportedly caused it to bring these plans forward. The company also blamed “changed customer behaviors” for its decision in a statement given to Business Insider. Axios notes that the company is facing a very different market now that T-Mobile has merged with Sprint (in a move that’s resulted in its own layoffs).
Any workers who lose their jobs will get severance pay and up to six months of health care from the company where eligible. “Reducing our workforce is a difficult decision that we don’t take lightly,” AT&T told Business Insider.
It’s not just the US where phone stores are closing. Back in March, UK-based Dixons Carphone announced that it was closing its 531 Carphone Warehouse locations, previously the country’s largest chain of phone stores. At the time, the company blamed changing consumer habits, with people replacing their phones less often and opting to buy them separately or as part of flexible bundles.