Uncertain future for Ely’s Phones4U branch as company placed into administration

PUBLISHED: 09:49 15 September 2014 | UPDATED: 09:49 15 September 2014

Phones 4u is to go into administration - placing more than 5,500 jobs at risk - after network operator EE joined Vodafone in cutting ties with the retailer.

The company, which opened a new branch in Ely late last year, said its stores will be closed today (Monday) pending a decision by the administrators on whether the business can be reopened for trading.

Staff at the High Street branch have been asked to report to work as normal on today (Monday) as they will be briefed by management.

Owned by private equity firm BC Partners, Phones 4u has 550 standalone stores, employing 5,596 people.

Phones 4u said the decision by EE not to renew its current contract, which is due to end in September next year, was a “complete shock” and meant it would be left without a single network partner after Vodafone said earlier this month that it would not extend its agreement.

Phones 4u chief executive David Kassler said yesterday: “Today is a very sad day for our customers and our staff.

“If the mobile network operators decline to supply us, we do not have a business. A good company making profits of over £100 million, employing thousands of decent people has been forced into administration.

“The great service we have provided should have guaranteed a strong future, but unfortunately our network partners have decided otherwise. The ultimate result will be less competition, less choice and higher prices for mobile customers in the UK.”

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