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Phones4u goes into administration

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UK phone retailer Phones4u has gone into administration after its last major mobile network partner withdrew its support.

The retailer had already withstood a major blow earlier in the month when Vodafone opted not to renew its contract with the company.

Now it's been confirmed that EE has also opted not to continue with Phones4u, making it the last of the major UK networks to offer its mobile phone contracts through the high street store.

"If mobile network operators decline to supply us, we do not have a business," said Phones4u boss David Kassler.

As a result, the chain's 550 stores will be closed today, and 5,596 jobs have been put at risk.

"A good company making profits of over £100m, employing thousands of decent people has been forced into administration," said Kessler. The company has called both EE and Vodafone's withdrawal "a complete shock."

Any phone contracts taken out through Phones4u will be unaffected by the closure, but any phones ordered and note dispatched by the company will be. That means that anyone who ordered an iPhone 6 through the company will need to ring the Phones4u customer service line, which is being set up from 9am today.

Meanwhile staff have been instructed to turn up to work as usual, and have been assured that they will continue to be paid until further notice.

EE explained its decision to withdraw from Phones4u as "driven by developments in the marketplace that have called into question the long term viability of the Phones 4U business."

Like Vodafone, EE has also claimed that it wants to bolster its direct sales channels.

Read more: Best mobile phones 2014

Via: BBC News

PGrGr

September 15, 2014, 9:36 am

I'm sure David Kessler, in his heart, knows that he is just talking a good game in his press statement. Any company with only two suppliers is fundamentally weak, and this failure has been on the cards for a long time.

My sympathies are with the workforce, who will probably lose their jobs. This is just the latest example of a traditional high street retailer failing to innovate in the light of changing trends which were blindingly obvious to everyone other than the management.

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