AROUND 1,150 Merseyside jobs were axed today with the closure of the former Littlewoods call centre.
Shop Direct made the shock announcement this afternoon.
The former Littlewoods catalogue and home shopping business said 1,000 of those jobs would be at the call centre in Crosby.
The other 150 job losses will take place at its Aintree financial services operation and two other sites in Preston and Manchester.
Some staff were reported to have collapsed and many were in tears at the news.
Bosses said the bombshell closure is due to the increase of internet sales.
They have opened a 90-day consultation process with workers and their unions.
Shop Direct chief executive Mark Newton Jones said: ““We recognise that this will be a difficult time for those members of our team impacted by today’s announcement.
“We do hope to relocate 250 of them and we will do everything we can to support those affected.
“Our business is changing because the way our customers choose to shop with us is changing.
“We anticipate that 70% of our sales will be online by 2010/11 and, therefore, the future of our business is online-led. We are a strong and growing business. In order to maintain this growth, we need to continue to adapt and change to the needs of our customers.”
One caller to the ECHO, whose relatives work at both Crosby and Aintree, said staff were distraught when bosses broke the news this morning.
She said: “One woman collapsed and everyone was screaming.” THE LIVERPOOL ECHO