John Lewis to close branch call centres

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The Independent Online

Stores giant John Lewis is to close its network of 25 branch call centres and replace them with two new sites next year, it was announced today.

Around 500 staff will be based at the new centres, one in the Glasgow area and the other in the north of England, likely to be either Newcastle or Manchester.

Around 700 workers are employed in the current branch network, but the company said it was hoping to redeploy as many staff as possible.

Andrew Murphy, director of operational development, said: "Having 25 separate call centres is not ideal in terms of efficiency and is also not the best way to ensure that customers always receive excellent service.

"The customer proposition will remain essentially unchanged, but the experience will be enhanced by improved information systems, telephone support over extended opening hours and the ability to bring different strands of best practice together."