UK's Phones 4U is set to close the doors on its 720 outlets after EE becomes the final carrier partner to terminate its relationship with the retailer prompting administration. The decision to shutter its stores will affect almost 6,000 employees though private equity owner BC Partners assures that "employees will continue to be paid until further notice."
"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," Phones 4U CEO David Kassler said saying that Phones 4U is now in administration.
Prior to EE pulling out, both Vodafone and O2 had terminated its agreements with Phones 4U earlier this year.
"EE reached the decision amid concerns that Phones 4U was selling for only one of Britain's main mobile operators," The Telegraph reported. "It was felt this reduced its appeal for customers who wanted to compare the prices of different operators."
This will leave Carphone as the sole third-party retailer of wireless phones and service in the UK. Phones 4U and BC Partners claim that EE and other carriers want to reduce the number of phones and contracts that are sold through outside retailers in order to achieve a higher profit margin.
Source: The Telegraph