Phones 4U shops closing down across UK

Alexander Newton

The high street retailer Phones 4U has gone into administration putting 5,596 jobs at risk, according to BBC News.

 

The chain, which is owned by private equity firm BC Partners, said its 550 stores would all be closed on Monday. Phones 4U blamed the move on mobile network EE’s decision not to renew its contract, which followed a similar move from Vodafone earlier in September.

 

“If mobile network operators decline to supply us, we do not have a business,” said Phones 4U boss David Kassler.

 

The company said established mobile contracts taken out through it would not be affected, although phones ordered and not despatched – for example anyone ordering the new iPhone 6 over the weekend – would be. It also said staff should turn up to work as normal, when they would be given further details and staff would “continue to be paid until further notice”.

 

A spokesperson for EE said the decision not to renew its contract with Phones 4U was “driven by developments in the marketplace that have called into question the long term viability of the Phones 4U business”. The spokesperson added that the decision was also “in line with our strategy to focus on growth in our direct channels”.

 

BC Partners said EE’s contract was due to expire next September, a full year from now. It warned “the ultimate result will be less competition, less choice and higher prices for mobile customers in the UK”