Following Vodafone’s decision to remove its products from Phones 4U’s shelves at the start of the month, EE has decided to sever it’s ties with the high street phone chain. Since EE was Phones 4U’s last network partner, the owners have decided to seek advice from administrators on the future of the company.
The decision has been made because, according to reports, EE accounted for over half of Phones 4U’s £1 billion annual sales, and despite the company firmly remaining in the black, the administrators are there to try and ensure the company doesn’t spiral into bankruptcy.
Stefano Quadrio Curzio, representative of Phones 4U’s owners, BC Partners, said:
“Our overriding concern is for all the dedicated hard-working employees of Phones 4u at a time of uncertainty for the company. 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. EE’s decision on Friday is surprising in the context of a contract that has more than a year to run and leaves the Board with no alternative but to seek the Administrator’s protection in the interests of all its stakeholders.”
All 720 Phones 4U outlets, including 550 standalone stores, will close, but staff members are reportedly being briefed by management, and will be paid until further notice.
But what will this mean for current customers? Well, the company announced that all phone contracts purchased will remain unaffected. Phones 4U has also made a full statement addressing key concerns, which you can read here. Vodafone and EE have both declined to comment.
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