Thousands of jobs have been put at risk as retailer Phones 4U enters administration.
The company, owned by private equity firm BC Partners, announced that it would be closing its 550 stores on Monday (September 15th) as its woes continued. The latest statement comes after Phones 4U failed to secure a new contract with mobile network EE, following a similar decision made by Vodafone earlier in September.
Phones 4U currently employs 5,596 members of staff and described the decision of EE and Vodafone to not renew as "a complete shock". The company added that it had only received EE's decision late on Friday (September 12th) and has put the future of a firm making profits of over £100 million in jeopardy.
Stefano Quadrio Curzio, from BC Partners, said: "Vodafone has acted in exactly the opposite way to what they had consistently indicated to the management of Phones 4U over more than six months.
"Their behaviour appears to have been designed to inflict the maximum damage to their partner of 15 years, giving Phones 4U no time to develop commercial alternatives."
Mr Curzio added that Phones 4U had been in a healthy position, with both EE and Vodafone indicating that they classed the firm as a long-term partner. However, this view has changed significantly in recent days and both the network providers have performed a U-turn on their view. EE stated that the move was "driven by developments in the marketplace".
Phones 4U confirmed that customers with established mobile contracts taken out through it would not be affected but those who had ordered phones which had not been dispatched yet, including the new iPhone 6, would be affected.
The demise of Phones 4U is just one in a long line of high street businesses falling into administration following the likes of Barratts and Blacks Leisure.
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