EE, Vodafone to acquire Phones 4u stores and safeguard hundreds of jobs

UK retailer Phones 4u has recently gone into administration, announcing the closure of 700 stores and placing 5,600 positions at risk. Luckily for those involved, there is - at least - some light at the end of this tunnel with multiple parties picking up stores and absorbing employees, including both EE and Vodafone.

EE is set to acquire 58 stores from Phones 4u, safeguarding 359 jobs. On Friday, Vodafone announced the company would take over 140 Phones 4u outlets. While UK mobile operators and Dixons Carphone (Currys PCWorld) are looking to absorb Phones 4u property and take on employees who face losing their jobs, there are still thousands of jobs still at risk.

It's reported that the closures came about due to mobile operators limiting the amount of hardware and contracts sold through third-parties to bolster earnings. Carphone Warehouse remains as the sole third-party retailer of wireless phones and service in the UK.

Source: BBC

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • It smells
  • Indeed. A shrewd business move that was extremely calculated! Capitalism in action!!!
  • I'm not from the UK but even I agree this sounds shady as all get out. :-/
  • How is this affecting Windows?
  • You do know that you didn't have to read this article, right?
  • Then what's the point? This is an article that I expect on the Bing News app, not on 'Windows Phone Central'.
  • Having working in the mobile phone industry for some time, i believe that p4u have been selling a very good share of Windows phones compared to other carriers in the UK.
  • It affects windows because the uk is one of the big wp markets. Boasting 10% and over. Phones4u WAS the biggest phone retailer in the UK. I will let you make the connection.
  • I guess Phones4U stores have Windows and doors as well I guess :-)
  • They sold Windows Phones.
  • Malbendsouza, relax man, don't you have any interest in reading a market that's sells windows phones too, closing? If not then leave, this is not the windows phone news place for you. Enough with those pointless whiners
  • So you're asking me to leave because I have an opinion about something? You can express your opinion but please don't tell me what to do. I'm free to comment about something I feel.
  • You are expressing your opinion but that doesn't make it acceptable to the community, the rest of us. So don't blame the website owners for keeping us informed. Yes. Just get out of here. Anyone that doesn't like an app deletes it, you don't like a food you don't eat it, you don't like a website you leave, as simple as that. :)
  • When did I say that I don't like the website? I'm just unhappy with some of the things that are posted and expressed my opinion. Rich replied saying that they sold windows phone and hence its relevant. The discussion ends there. I don't think you should tell me what to do. :)
  • I'm with you Malbend. You were the first person to raise the issue that this might cause Windows Phone some market share since we are losing a very supportive retailer and that must be why the article is on WPC. Good question. You're way ahead of most of the readers here. Keep on posting and keep on sharing your opinion. So does anyone know if this will affect OS market share for Windows Phone? Any thoughts on the matter?
  • I agree with you, we should not be quick to tell folks to leave wpc because we don't agree with them, I understand the passion of WP fans and wpc, I went back to read Malbend first response or statement, it could be perceived as a question and the answer you gave him on this article's potential effect on WP is what we needed to furnish him and not be combatant to extent of asking him to leave.
  • How is it affecting windows? Well Phones4u used to sell PHONES that were FOR YOU. PHONES like windows phones. YOU being the general public. Its in the title Einstein. Don't be the leech that sucks out all journalism because its not about YOUR phone in YOUR town talking about YOU. Broaden your horizon you ignorant leech.
  • Firstly, I own a Lumia 520 as well as a Lumia 720. Secondly, calling me a leech just because I expressed my opinion? Anyways, thank you.
  • Malbendouza, don't sweat a thing, you are ok in my books, even reading your responses shows me you were asking a question in my opinion, don't let anyone get you off this awesome site and keep on enjoying your WP. You have questions on or about any article or even a descent, voice at this awesome forum
  • Thank you for the support. :)
  • Mal, you know someone's a jerk when they tell you to leave a forum of opinions and comments for making a comment or expressing an opinion. Worlds full of them, unfortunately, and most of them are on the net.
  • Even though it was rude, it's okay. Everyone has an opinion. Thank you for the support. :)
  • Oh please, shut up. This is "Mobile Nations".
  • @eddp77 isn't it a forum rule NO NAME CALLING? Its you then that should leave not someone expressing an opinion, not that I agree with the op about it not being relevant as I think it is but name calling that's just wrong!
  • So, if I'm correct, they caused phones 4u to close due to lack of support, and now they can buy it at a fraction of its original value.
    Plus, this way they look like "those who saved hundreds of jobs".
    Great strategy. Not fair, maybe, but who cares, right?
  • Yep.
  • You beat me to it. Vodaphone and EE pull out of their deals causing the company to go bankrupt, making the price of the company plummet and put thousands of jobs at risk, then they buy the prime real estate on the high street at a fraction of the price and fire thousands during restructuring and try and spin doctor what they did to make it look like they are saviors? Who do they think they are gonna fool? CarphoneWarehouse you're next.
  • I think CW should be fine as they are now part of DSG. Also, they generally sell their handsets unlocked  and arn't so dependant on the networks. That said, they are not totally safe and I for one will be very worried about this move of P4U and it doesn't bode well for any independant showrooms.  
  • They're cutting out the middleman....seems like.
  • Looks equally perfidious and consequent...
  • It was all very neat. But the Most important bit is the employees. At least most will keep a job
  • Out of the near six thousand employees losing their jobs, house many will be retained? A thousand? Maybe two? Hard times for those out of a job.
  • Are there any sites in Greece?
  • This is not great. We don't want mobile operators to be the sole high st retailers of phones, that would stink. Phones 4u were the only high st retailer who would sell me an off contract 1020 when they first came out. Everyone else including Carphone warehouse insisted I would have to buy into a contract.
    Their customer service was also v. good, they exchanged my faulty phone without quibble.
  • Why is there not a shop that just SELLS phones, not contracts but phones. Lots of ppl now, me included, buy there phone, unlocked, and use sim only deals, that way only being tied down one month at a time. I realise u can buy phones in CW but not always new phones and CW is very contract based. Love to see a shop based on selling phones. In the far east it's like this, phones for sale everywhere. This also puts the customer far more in control.
  • Glad I didn't go for the job at Phones4U....phew
  • I find it hard to believe the the P4U management sat back after Vodafone ended their sales agreement and thought selling only EE contracts safeguarded the company future.
    If they did, then they clearly weren't capable of running an egg and spoon race, let alone a multi-million pound company.