Home shopping retailer plans call centres closure

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A home shopping retailer has said it plans to close two of its four call centres and switch some of the work overseas.

Shop Direct said the rise in online shopping meant call volumes had dropped by 45% over the past four years.

The company will transfer 1,800 of its staff to services group Serco, which will manage customer contacts.

Serco has started consultations on the closure of Shop Direct's Worcester and Preston sites.

Shop Direct said the two centres will stay open for at least a year and there would be "detailed discussion" before any final decisions were taken.

Chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said that with more people shopping online there was a need for "far fewer people" to be directly involved in customer contact.

He said: "Serco's expertise, coupled with their investment in technological innovation, will ensure that we have a customer contact programme that is flexible and adaptable for the increasingly online and mobile world that we live in."

The company said that to "improve efficiency and reduce costs" Serco was also planning to carry out some of the work abroad.

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