Phones 4u has been placed into administration with the mobile retailer set to close all 550 of its stores today (Monday 15 September).
The precipitous end to the High Street store was finally undone by EE’s decision not to renew its contract with the firm after it elected to focus on ‘direct channels’- a knock out blow for which Phones 4u could not recover after a similar knock back from Vodafone just a few months earlier.
Together both networks provided over 90 per cent of all connections hosted by the firm.
The retailer;s website had also been taken offline.
Commenting on his decision to pull the plug Phones 4U boss, David Kassler said: “If mobile network operators decline to supply us, we do not have a business,” but added that its 5.596 employees would ‘continue to be paid until further notice’.
Although anyone who has taken out a mobile contract with the firm should be unaffected by the move those who have recently ordered a new phone but not yet received it could be in a different boat, with the company asking people to phone a dedicated customer service help line from 09:00.
In a trading update to the stock market Phones 4U said: “In light of the immediate impact that the recent decisions of Vodafone and EE are likely to have on the businesses…having taken appropriate advice the boards of the Companies have carefully considered the situation and have concluded that there is no reasonable prospect of avoiding insolvent liquidation and that they are no longer able to continue to trade. Accordingly the Companies have resolved to cease trading with immediate effect and place the Companies into administration.”
Phones 4u was owned by private equity firm BC Partners.
Earlier this year, Ben Padley, the retailer’s marketing director told The Drum his intention for the company to look towards selling wearable tech as a new revenue stream, after he merged all of the Phones4u marketing teams into one.