German operator plans to reduce number of retail outlets to reflect growing importance of online sales channel

Deutsche Telekom plans to shrink its retail footprint, shedding as many as 1,200 jobs in the process, according to a local press report.

The German incumbent’s network of 500 retail stores is now oversized in a world in which online sales are becoming increasingly prevalent, Handelsblatt reported on Wednesday, citing a company insider.

As such, it plans reduce the number of outlets to 460 and at the same time make even more drastic cuts to its retail workforce; of its 4,500 staff, 1,200 positions have become unnecessary, the news outlet reported.

The decision was a difficult one for management, due to the fact that the magenta signage in the stores is core to the telco’s brand identity. But the operator feels it has no alternative, given that demand in the stores has fallen significantly in recent years.

Deustche Telekom’s management has yet to set out the final details of the plan, including a timetable, but will do so following discussions with the company’s works council.

Talks will begin soon, Handelsblatt said.