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Union fears more job losses at EE as retail restructure confirmed

Mobile News
April 24, 2012

Prospect thinks more job losses are inevitable after 92-page confidential document reveals plans to overhaul retail operations

Trade union Prospect fears more job losses at Everything Everywhere (EE) are “inevitable” after the operator announced plans to consolidate stores and restructure its retail management teams.

Mobile News has obtained a 92-page confidential document sent to T-Mobile and Orange staff earlier this month detailing the changes, which will see the loss off at least 45 retail jobs.

EE said it is making the changes to “remove the organisational layers” between the board and the front line in order to enable faster decision making and get closer to its customers.

EE confirmed last week it plans to merge 62 of its T-Mobile and Orange outlets into 31 Everything Everywhere stores. This will see its store manager headcount drop from 69 to 42 with the loss of one assistant manager.

The consolidation of stores will reduce EE’s total estate to around 720, roughly the same number of stores the firm had at the end of 2010 when it said it planned to expand numbers rather than reduce them.

Management staff affected by the restructuring exercise will now begin a three-month consultation process and will be offered the chance to explore opportunities for vacancies across other areas of the business. All store management vacancies are currently on hold. Sta pay and commissions remain unaffected for now.

The document stated there will be no further impact on non-management positions. But Ben Bellamy from Prospect said more consolidation and cuts are inevitable in areas with both T-Mobile and Orange stores, claiming sta are fearing for their jobs.

He said: “I expect this to be an ongoing thing for some time.  The staff at T-Mobile and Orange stores don’t see it as a sustainable model.

“EE are going to look at the leases and the footfall and how stores are doing, so further consolidation and job losses are inevitable.

An EE spokesperson said: “We have proposed to sta that we will be consolidating a small number of our Orange and T-Mobile stores in locations where it makes sense to do so.

“These proposals would have an impact on store manager roles within these stores, but not front line sales staff.

“We will be looking to redeploy any individuals affected by these changes wherever possible.

Head office

EE also confirmed that 67 “retail head office” roles at the firm’s Paddington and Hatfield offices will be removed.

These include changes to EE’s regional management team, which will see the number of retail stores covered by a single individual reduced from around 35 to 20. Stores in the designated area will include T-Mobile, Orange, EE, HMV concessions and franchise. Regional managers will be accountable for all aspects of teams, customer and commercials.

This will see 10 new regional management posts being created as well as four new ‘head of’ roles for the north, south, east and west of the country. However, 23 ‘sales coach’ positions, two regional training team leader roles and a number of positions in communications and design are to be removed.

EE also plans to remove a number of director positions reporting to VP of retail Andrew Coull.

Roles occupied by head of central operations Shelley Peppard, retail operations director Richard Morris, head of retail estate Richard Durbin and head of retail trading for T-Mobile UK Scott Huson are among those listed as “at risk” of redundancy, while a vacancy for head of retail trading for Orange has been removed.

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