AT&T Set to Cut Thousands of Jobs and Close 250 Stores

AT&T is cutting jobs and closing retail stores to slash costs as the coronavirus prompts consumers to shop online.
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AT&T  (T) - Get Report reportedly plans to cut more than 3,400 technician and clerical jobs across the country and close stores over the next few weeks as the coronavirus pandemic shutdown has prompted consumers to shop online.

Shares of the Dallas telecom company were at last check unchanged from their $30.78 close in the regular session, up 0.9%. 

The wireless carrier also plans to permanently close more than 250 stores, which would affect about 1,300 retail jobs, Reuters reported, citing the company's main labor union, the Communications Workers of America.

"With more customers shopping online, we are closing some retail stores to reflect our customers’ shopping practices," AT&T said in a statement. "While these plans are not new, they have been accelerated by the covid-19 pandemic."

The company said most employees would be offered alternative positions within the company.

Executives, managers and union-represented employees will be affected along with non-payroll workers outside the U.S., AT&T said. The company is offering severance pay and health care for laid-off employees for the rest of the year.

In April, AT&T reported weaker-than-expected first quarter earnings Wednesday, and withdrew its full-year profit guidance, as the coronavirus outbreak clipped its bottom line. 

On Monday, CNBC reported that AT&T was considering a sale of its Warner Bros. gaming business in a possible $4 billion deal.

Like other media companies, AT&T is losing revenue as television advertisers pull back on deals with broadcast and cable outlets as the coronavirus continues to hit the U.S. economy hard.

AT&T acquired the gaming business as part of the 2018 buyout of Time Warner assets.

In March, the company said it was withdrawing from an agreement with Morgan Stanley  (MS) - Get Report to repurchase $4 billion of stock during the second quarter due to the coronavirus outbreak.