Wakefield and Pontefract jobs at risk as Phones 4u goes into administration

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Phones 4U is to go into administration, putting jobs at risk in Wakefield, Pontefract and Castleford.

The firm said its stores - including those in the Ridings Shopping Centre and on Teall Way in Wakefield, on Market Place in Pontefract and on Carlton Street in Castleford - would be closed today (Monday) pending a decision by the administrators on whether the business can reopen for trading.

The shock move came after network operator EE decided not to renew its current contract, leaving Phones 4U without any network partners following a decision by Vodafone to not renew its contract earlier this month.

David Kassler, chief executive of Phones 4u, said: “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 UK.”

Phones 4U, which is owned by BC Partners, is expected to appoint an administrator today.

The company has 550 standalone stores and employs 5,596 people. It said all mobile contracts bought through Phones 4u will remain unaffected and the networks will continue to provide mobile services to these customers.