The coronavirus pandemic has seen UK high streets shut down completely, but as the lockdown measures ease up and non-essential stores get ready to open, Virgin Media has announced that it won’t be reopening its door – ever again.
Virgin Media says that the decision has been made because most of its enquiries are received online or over the phone, so it makes more sense to focus on those areas for future investment, and ditch retail stores which sound like they’re not making much of a return for the company.
That’s not ideal for the 341 members of staff working across the 53 stores that will be affected by the decision. The good news is that they’ll be offered new roles instead. 300 home-based customer service roles are being created that will use tech that has been trialled during lockdown. Another 50 jobs – mostly field sales – will also be on the agenda. Rob Orr, executive director for sales at Virgin Media, said:
“We are focused on delivering the service customers want, in the ways they want it and at a time and a place that suits them. By creating new jobs in our most popular care and sales channels, we will be better able to provide our customers with the top service and support they rightly expect while retaining our talented workforce.”
Things seem to have been heading this way for a while, with the company’s high street present reducing from 140 stores in 2016. Virgin Media joins Carphone Warehouse in the list of companies shutting down physical shops and opting to transition to an online-only presence instead. [TechRadar]