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Sainsbury’s to close 22 phone shops inside stores

RBR Staff Writer Published 22 March 2017

British retailer Sainsbury’s has revealed its decision to close 22 phone shops inside its stores, a move that is expected to impact 160 employees.

Following a commercial review of its other in-store services, Sainsbury’s has agreed to enter into a commercial partnership with EE for the take over of its phone shops, reported Belfast Telegraph.

This was after the retailer had relocated a number of Argos outlets within its stores.

Sainsbury’s stated that it would look to redeploy the affected employees wherever possible.

According to trade union, Usdaw, a further 16 shops will be sold to EE with 106 employees to be transferred under TUPE. Usdaw added that 15 employees in the central telecoms team based at Ansty Park near Coventry face the risk of losing their jobs.

USdaw has entered into consultation talks with the retail company which would last at least 45 days. The trade union would represent the impacted employees and look to avoid redundancies by having them possibly employed within the Sainsbury’s’ group.

According to Usdaw national officer Joanne McGuinness, 'since the suspension of the Mobile by Sainsbury’s’ service in January last year, the union as well as the staff knew that the company was weighing its options and the subsequent review brought in the new partnership with EE.

McGuinness added: “Usdaw is also seeking early discussions with EE to ensure that the TUPE transfer goes ahead smoothly and that our members do not suffer any detriment in pay, terms and conditions or access to trade union representation.

“In the meantime we are providing our members with the advice, support and representation they require at this time of uncertainty.”

Sainsbury’s decision to close some of its phone shops comes days after its announcement to cut over 4,000 jobs as part of a restructuring program for its store operations.

Image: Sainsbury's Colney. Photo: courtesy of J Sainsbury plc.