Vodafone bags 140 Phones4U stores to save 900 jobs

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Vodafone announced that it has struck a deal with the mobile retailer Phones4U, which had gone into administration earlier this week, to buy 140 stores, in an effort to accelerate its retail expansion programme, saving around 900 jobs.

Vodafone’s offer has been accepted by the administration and is yet to be approved by the court. However, the mobile network operator said that it would begin rebranding Phones4U stores “as soon as possible.” The financial terms of the deal hasn’t been revealed.

Phones4U went into administration, following EE and Vodafone’s decision to not renew the contracts, resulting in nearly 5,600 job cuts at 560 Phones4U stores as well as a further 160 concession outlets. The administrator PwC said that 628 employees at Phones4U’s head office in Newcastle-under-Lyme and telesales staff in Staffordshire would be made redundant.

PwC is said to be in talks with other partners over deals related to purchasing assets. A further 400 staff at the Newcastle-under-Lyme office will be retained to assist with its work.

PwC partner Rob Hunt said that the administration make every effort to help the affected staff and also wished the “transferring employees all the best with their new employer.”

Vodafone has come in to rescue Phones4U staff, following Dixons Carphone, which saved up to 800 employees working in stalls in the PC World and Currys branches.

The existing contracts for customers set up through Phones 4U have not been affected. However, the retailer has said that the pre-orders will be refunded in full.

EE, one of the network operators accused of a “co-ordinated attempt to kill off” Phones 4u, has said earlier this week that it will fulfil the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders with EE contract, through the Phones 4U retailer. The operator has made a “limited number” of handsets available for Phones4U customers.