Phones 4u is preparing to axe deputy manager and assistant manager jobs at 279 stores, across the UK, according to sources.
Stores that are considered to be underperforming have been targeted for the proposed jobs cull which was announced to staff this week. If the cuts go ahead they will take effect from 1 August.
Staff whose jobs are under threat have been told they can apply for sales consultant roles but sources say many fear there are too few positions available to cover the redundancies creating by the strategy. The cuts are said to include nine assistant manager roles.
The cuts at Phones 4u come as competition heats up on the high streets with EE, O2 and Vodafone all rolling out plans to increase their retail presence across the UK.
Vodafone and EE are also reviewing their relationships with their indirect partners which could lead them to pull out of Phones 4u and other independent retailers.
Carphone's merger with Dixons has also hit Phones 4u, resulting in the termination next year of the retailer's deal to run Phones 4u concessions in 160 of Dixons' Currys/PC World megastores. The closure of the concessions will put another 350 Phones 4u jobs under threat.
Phones 4u said the proposed cuts were part of a wider strategy to incentivise staff. Nick Fisher COO at Phones 4u said: 'We can confirm that we have entered into a period of consultation with some employees potentially affected by a strategic review of key business operations. The review is part of our ongoing commitment to improve the Phones 4u customer experience across all channels.
'Our strategic review delivered a number of recommendations including a number of initiatives aimed at better deployment and incentivisation of our employees. We anticipate a small net reduction in employee numbers, estimated at below 200 roles in total. However, our total workforce at present totals more than 5,600, and should the proposals go ahead, there will be a large number of redeployment opportunities available.
'The current strategic review and subsequent employee consultation is entirely unrelated to the recent Dixons and Carphone Warehouse merger.'
The retailer said it expected employees in all affected roles would have the choice to take up other roles at Phones 4u.