The pandemic is continuing to take a toll on retail, with AT&T the latest US carrier to announce yet another wave of store closings. In June of this year, the company announced the closure of 250 retail stores. This week, they’ve announced the upcoming closure of 320 additional stores starting in November, with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union detailing that 1,600 workers will be affected.
Speaking to Fierce Wireless, AT&T doesn’t say that COVID is the only issue, but from a consumer standpoint, it certainly didn’t help.
As we have previously announced, we are transforming our business. That includes adjusting our retail presence to reflect our customers’ shopping practices. While these plans are not new, they have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the affected workers, AT&T says that it will make every effort to place employees in other nearby stores. According to the report, all frontline union-represented employees will be offered a role either in a nearby retail store or as a work-at-home call center representative. We hope it’s a smooth transition for everyone affected.
To help put this new wave of closures into perspective, the recent total of AT&T stores in the US was about 5,000: 2K corporate locations, 3K dealer stores.