Shop Direct to close two UK call centres

Shop Direct, one of the UK’s leading home shopping retailers, has said it is planning to close two of their call centres, which will probably mean job losses. Chief executive of Shop Direct, Mark Newton-Jones, has said that this is because of the way consumers have changed in their approach to online shopping due to advances in technology and that consequently there is a need for fewer staff in direct contact with customers.

The two centres marked for closure are Worcester and Preston. Shop Direct will transfer some 1800 staff to the services company Serco. It is thought that Serco will then move some of the work overseas. Shop Direct have chosen to work with Serco on this as they have the necessary expertise and technology to adapt to the continually changing world of online consumerism.

Chief executive of Serco, Christopher Hyman, said that they are very pleased to be working with Shop Direct and will deliver a customer contact programme that will continue to improve the customers experience with Shop Direct with increased efficiency and investment in new technologies.

Shop Direct has moved from being a catalogue business, in the last ten years, to now having 75% of its’ business online. However, with calls to the call centres falling drastically, something had to give. The company has said that the two call centres will remain open for another year at least and that before any decisions are made, there will time for plenty of detailed consultations.