Shutters stay down at Phones 4u store as firm enters administration

Posted on Monday 15th September 2014 at 9:17 pm by SH (Editor)

The Phones 4u store at the Willow Brook Centre in Bradley Stoke, Bristol, pictured on 15th September 2014 after it had been announced that the mobile phone retailer had been put into administration.

The shutters stayed down at the Phones 4u store in Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook shopping centre today (Monday 15th September) after it was announced that the mobile phone retailer had been put into administration.

The picture was the same at more than 550 other Phones 4u stores across the country, leaving a total of 5,595 employees (including those at concessions within Currys and PC World stores) with an uncertain future.

The store closures follow a decision by mobile network EE to stop selling phones through the Phones 4u chain, following similar moves by Vodafone, O2 and 3.

Accountancy firm PwC, confirmed this afternoon as administrator for the Phones 4u business, issued a statement saying:

“This is a very sad day for the business and the many people working there. In light of our impending appointment the directors understandably took the decision to close all the shops today and sent many staff home.”

“Our initial focus will be to quickly engage with parties who may be interested in acquiring all or part of the business, and to better understand the financial position and options for the company. The stores will remain closed while we have these conversations.”

“We will also be talking to network operators and suppliers, and trying to access funds to pay for the costs of the business, including wages.”

“These conversations will determine whether we can re-open stores and trade, and also if and when we can pay the arrears of wages to employees. Our hope is that we will be able to pay all the outstanding wages arrears.”

Willow Brook Centre Manager Andy Wynn commented:

“It is always a sad situation when large chains face problems. In particular the Phones 4u situation nationally has come fairly out of the blue and was played out in the national media last night and this morning, before staff could be informed. The Willow Brook store is no different to the rest of the Phones 4u estate in that it remained closed today and, as it stands, the team are waiting to hear from the administrators on a plan of action for the future.”

The Phones 4u store at the Willow Brook Centre has been trading for around twelve months. The mall unit which it occupies was previously home to a Panasonic consumer electronics store that mysteriously failed to re-open after being closed for a weekend of “stock-taking and refurbishment” in February 2013.

The shopping centre currently has one vacant mall unit, following the closure of the Santander agency branch earlier this year  – a consequence of the bank’s decision to consolidate its UK retail operations into its proprietary branches.

Related link: Phones 4U collapse and your orders (BBC)

Notice on the door of the Phones 4u store in Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

Above: Notice on the door of the Bradley Stoke Phones 4u store.

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8 Responses to “Shutters stay down at Phones 4u store as firm enters administration”

  1. Clive Says:

    After hearing the news of the closing of phone 4 you, I felt for the companies staff, I hope they will be look after, its seems when reading the story in the papers, they were not to blame.
    Blame for the shut down, if the papers are right, goes to those in charge, higher up in the company.
    The papers have told us, one member took out a very, very large loan, why, was the company on its way out????
    I have also read, one of their rivals have offers many of staff a job once details have been sorted out.
    I’m sure like me, many will hope the offer of work will help everyone.

  2. SH (Editor) Says:

    Could the Bradley Stoke Phones 4u store be taken over by EE or Vodafone?

    Phones 4U break-up looms as administrator dismisses debt-for-equity bid (The Telegraph)

  3. SH (Editor) Says:

    Vodafone takes on 140 Phones 4U stores (BBC)
    EE to take over 58 Phones 4U stores (BBC)
    As yet, no news about the future of the Bradley Stoke store.

  4. DaveP Says:

    Bradley Stoke store doesn’t seem to be on the list of closing stores from the administrators – so presumably a new Vodafone or EE store opening soon…

  5. SH (Editor) Says:

    List of stores closing:

  6. SH (Editor) Says:

    Message from a BSJ reader: “I’ve had a text from EE to say that they are taking over the Phones 4u shop at the Willow Brook.”

  7. SH (Editor) Says:

    See: Vodafone to take over former Phones 4u store (The Journal)

  8. SH (Editor) Says:

    Huge sums owed to phones 4u customers and staff (Insider Media)

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