Mobile retailers prepare for further rioting

Mobile retailers prepare for further rioting

Mobile retailers are preparing for another night of rioting and looting with police advising them which high streets are most likely to be hit by further riots.

A number of stores have already been closed, Mobile understands, as a precautionary measure in areas the police believe may be targeted by rioters today or later tonight.

Retailers and operators declined to identify these areas for security reasons and for fear it could attract potential number of troublemakers and looters.

Retailers are also running stocks low and securing high value stock in secure locations within stores.

A number of undamaged mobile stores have also been closed across London and other cities because they are within a crime scene following the riots or because police deem the areas to be unsafe.

One operator source said: ‘We are talking to the police, as they receive information about further possible trouble through the day, about whether our stores are near potential trouble so that we can decide whether to close some stores early to ensure staff and customer safety.’

Another operator source said: ‘We may also be advised by police to close other stores temporarily, or early, in areas where they believe there may be further disturbances.’

Meanwhile, the toll of damaged mobile stores continues to rise as operators and retailers assess the damage.

Vodafone reports that 10 of its stores have been damaged including those in Brixton, Camden, Chiswick and Kilburn.

A spokesman said:  ‘We are saddened by the events of the past three days and the damage that has been done to local communities and businesses.

‘We can confirm that a small number of our stores, which are on the high streets that were affected, have been damaged.

‘We will work with the local authorities to get them back up and running as soon as we can. In the meantime, we are continuing to provide service to customers in those areas through our call centres and online.’

Three confirmed it has closed four damaged stores in Clapham, Streatham, Walthamstow and Camden, with others closed because of their location close to crime scenes or potential riot areas.

A spokesman said: ‘A number of Three stores have been affected by the riots across Greater London, and some remain closed. Thankfully none of our staff have been injured during the disturbances.

‘Three's focus is on ensuring staff remain safe, and we are constantly updating them with security advice, support, and information.’

Operators and retailers are also preparing to work with police to ensure phones stolen in the riots are made inoperable by blocking their International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers.

A Three spokesman said: ‘We continue to work closely with the police, and will be helping them with their enquiries as much as possible. Stolen phones will be barred, as is usual policy, rendering them in-operable on any network.’

However some retail staff expressed anger at the lack of support provided to them during last night’s riots. One Carphone Warehouse staff member told ISellMobile: ‘I feel I have had no support so far. I wanted to go home early as I had been told that rioting had already started near my home but I had to stay until 7pm, even though we had been told they were closing stations in that area.

I was told I could take a bus instead despite the fact rioters were attacking buses going through that area. Then when I got near my home I had to walk home, working my way around the riot to get there. It was really terrifying.’

Written by Mobile Today
Mobile Today


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