Huntingdon store closes as Phones 4u goes into administration

High Street, Huntingdon.

High Street, Huntingdon. - Credit: Archant

A Huntingdon phone shop has closed today as Phones 4u looks to enter administration.

The national chain has closed its 550 stores today after network operator EE told Phones 4u it intended not to renew its contract to supply the retailer, which ends next September.

EE’s decision leaves Phones 4u without a network partner as Vodafone announced earlier this month that it would not extend its agreement.

Administrators will decided today whether Phones 4U will be able to reopen for trading. Its 5,596-strong workforce will also be briefed today about their future.

Phones 4u chief executive David Kassler said last night: “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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Stefano Quadrio Curzio, a representative of Phones 4u 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.”

The process of appointing PwC as an administrator is expected to take place today.