Nearshore Americas

Starbucks Dumps Internal Call Centers and Puts an Order into Sitel

As many call centers around the U.S.  are shutting down and offshoring operations to other countries, it comes as no surprise when the coffee giant Starbucks announced that it would close its Seattle call center and outsource center to a third party.

The call center, which employed 130 people, will now fall under the domain of global contact-center giant Sitel. According to reports, the new call center will be outsourced to the Sitel branch in Albuquerque, N.M.
The observed trend of customer care, back office and business process operations being closed or shifted seems to be very prevalent in the retail domain.
Early last year, Williams-Sonoma, the retailer and lifestyle company closed its call center in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, putting approximately 330 employees out of work. It eliminated a 38,000 square foot Camp Hill PA, call center as well as a 500,000 square foot distribution facility in Memphis, as part of an 18 percent reduction in company-wide, full-time jobs, a total of about 1,400.
The ugly end to bankrupt electronics retailer Circuit City Inc. saw the closing of its remaining 567 U.S. stores and sell all its merchandise, including its assets along with 34,000 employees, losing their jobs, throughout the country. Systemax Technology Group has purchased the Circuit City brand, trademark, Web site and other assets.
Another retail company, Redcats USA closed its Universal City, Texas, call center and eliminating close to 500 jobs there.
Internet travel agency Expedia (NewsAlert) reportedly announced its closing of its call center in Tacoma by the end of last year.
Also more than 200 people will lose their jobs when OfficeMax, office supply retailer shut down a customer service call center in Mentor late last year.

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Kirk Laughlin

Kirk Laughlin is an award-winning editor and subject expert in information technology and offshore BPO/ contact center strategies.

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