3/26/2009 1:57:00 PM
Phones 4u cuts shop admin staff in radical overhaul
Phones 4u has scrapped 290 in-store administrative jobs in a radical change to how it runs its 400 stores.
The retailer has also started issuing sales targets to store managers, in addition to the targets for assistant managers, who were told to start selling in recent months.
Store managers and their assistants were previously exempt from selling.
The move to cut back-office functions comes as Phones 4u looks to place greater emphasis on sales. Admin staff have been invited to reapply for 200 new store sales functions that the retailer said it was creating.
Phones 4u looked to dispel concerns of wholesale job cuts, stating: ‘Unfortunately, there may be a small number of redundancies which arise as part of this proposed restructure, although it is hoped that the final number will be less than 30.’
Responsibilities for admin staff include all stock, credit checks, staff records and compliance – such as stock records, paperwork for contracts, and staff rotas.
Phones 4u said the removal of administrative functions came after 18 months of planning, and that its investment in new systems eroded the need for specialist admin personnel.
The retailer’s management assuaged store managers by saying it would reduce some mandatory measures, such as the number of stock counts from three per week to one, and it would no longer insist on IMEI records for all stock moved in and out of the ‘cage’ (stock room).
One Phones 4u source said: ‘Phones 4u used to be a sales machine with a hell of a lot of wastage. We then brought in some very tight processes and compliance, which many people thought was a pain in the neck at the time, but we needed it.’
One manager in the Midlands said: ‘My admin guys are the busiest in the store. I can’t imagine them not being here.’
A spokeswoman said: ‘Phones 4u can confirm it is carrying out a consultation regarding a proposed restructure of its in-store administration roles.’