2,400 Phones 4u staff axed as networks save under a third of stores

Around half of Phones 4u’s staff will lose their jobs after administrators PwC announced it will shut 362 of the troubled retailer’s stores.

Over 1,697 workers for the mobile contract sales group will be immediately let go in the first wave of 362 store closures. A further 720 staff will be kept on short term to assist with winding down the retailer however they will be made redundant after the process runs its course.

This follows the firm’s collapse last week after major mobile networks pulled out of supply agreements. EE cancelled its contract earlier this month, taking with it Orange and 02, in what proved to be the killing blow for Phones 4u.

The actions of the networks were criticised by Phones 4u founder John Caudwell last week on Sky News where the philanthropist accused the “ruthless” carriers of colluding to trash the firm.

On the other hand, the carriers also stepped in to save some of Phones 4u’s 550 outlets, with EE announcing on Monday that it would fork out £2.5m to acquire 58 stores - continuing the employment of 359 staff.

Additionally, Dixons Carphone said it would employ 800 staff from the group. Finally, Vodafone bought 140 stores safeguarding a further 887 jobs.

Rob Hunt, joint administrator and PwC partner, said: “It is with much regret that we have today made the difficult decision to close a large number of stores.

“It is a very sad day for the staff working at those locations and our thoughts are with them. We will make every effort to help the affected staff, working with the Phones 4u HR team over the coming days to support employees."

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John McCarthy

John is an entertainment marketing reporter at The Drum. He writes about the amazing marketing stories coming from the movie, TV, music and video game industries. He's also the hunt for the weirder trends in marketing and advertising.

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