T-Mobile Already Exploring Closure of Retail Stores If Merger With Sprint Approved

Article in Puget Sound Business Journal Latest Reminder That Proposed Merger Would Shutter Thousands of Stores and Eliminate 30,000 Jobs Nationwide

Washington, D.C. — A new article by Ashley Stewart in the Puget Sound Business Journal titled, "T-Mobile is hiring a team to help decide the fate of retail stores post-Sprint merger," provides more disturbing reminders how the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger could result in the closure of thousands of retail stores and the elimination of 30,000 jobs nationwide. The article, available in full online here, notes:

"T-Mobile is building out a retail real estate team that could decide the fate of those stores, including a retail real estate senior corporate counsel, a real estate strategy senior program manager and a national facilities senior manager.

…The national facilities manager would be responsible for 1,900 sites, according to the job posting.

Jeffrey Moore, a research analyst based near Sprint's Overland Park headquarters, estimated the number of store closures could be in the thousands..."

CWA's comprehensive economic analysis of the proposed merger finds that it would result in the loss of 30,000 U.S. jobs – about 25,500 jobs due to overlapping retail store closures (13,700 jobs in postpaid retail stores and 11,800 in prepaid retail stores under the Boost and MetroPCS brands) and another 4,500 jobs due to duplicative functions at corporate headquarters.

Retail store locations for Sprint and T-Mobile in New York City and Boost Mobile and MetroPCS in Los Angeles.

Retail store locations for Sprint and T-Mobile in New York City (left) and Boost Mobile and MetroPCS in Los Angeles (right) show a significant geographic overlap.

In Washington, CWA projects that the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger could result in the loss of 99 retail stores and 497 retail jobs in the state, as well as the elimination of 500 jobs at T-Mobile headquarters due to overlapping functions.

At a Senate hearing about the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger in June 2018, T-Mobile CEO John Legere admitted that "there'll be a rationalization of jobs in the first year" – an admission that the merged company would lay off thousands of workers. And T-Mobile's January 2018 acquisition of iWireless, a regional carrier in Iowa, shows what happens to jobs when T-Mobile takes over: T-Mobile closed more than 72 percent of iWireless corporate stores and more than 93 percent of authorized dealer stores. T-Mobile also shuttered iWireless customer call centers in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

According to Debbie Goldman, CWA Research and Telecommunications Policy Director, "While T-Mobile and Sprint continue to offer unsubstantiated and vague promises that the merger would be a job creator, the data and the companies' behavior and track records tell a different story. This merger would shutter thousands of stores and eliminate 30,000 jobs and should be opposed, in its current construction, as against the public interest."