The wireless world in the UK took another turn-of-events when Vodafone, one of the reasons that Phones 4u closed their doors, turned around and will reopen 140 Phones 4u stores (renaming them Vodafone) and save 900 jobs. In a statement to our source, this will help out Vodafone with their growth plans in the UK:
"Vodafone UK today confirmed that it was approached by the Phones4U administrator and decided to make an offer to buy 140 of its stores as a way to accelerate our retail expansion programme and save hundreds of jobs. Our offer was accepted by the administrator and we are pleased to report that approximately 900 former Phones4U employees will keep their jobs and join our dynamic retail business. Subject to court approval, we will start engaging with these employees and begin the rebranding of the stores to Vodafone as soon as possible."
Phones 4u, opened in 1996, was a large independent mobile phone retailer with over 600 stores spread over the UK. After EE, Vodafone, Orange and O2 all ended their contracts with Phones 4u, on September 14, they entered into bankruptcy. Although they were profitable, once Vodafone and then EE ended their business relationship, Phones 4u had no major networks left to work with and were forced into administration.
Many thought that all 6,000 employees would be left jobless, however, Currys and PC World will take 800 of the Phones 4u employees and place them in its store-in-store outlets. With Vodafone's announcement, another 900 employees were saved from unemployment, bring the total to about 1,600 saved jobs. The other 4,400 are out job hunting, but yet another competitor, Carphone Warehouse, asked them to apply for positions in their stores – it seems that about 1,500 jobs may be available. With the holiday seasoning approaching, these other stores may be gearing up their employees to handle the higher sales volume.
Earlier this week, Phones 4u closed down their online sites, apologizing to their customers. They did list some customer service lines that are available to help: For Repairs call 0844 8712269 – For Insurance call 0844 8710535 – For Customer Service call 0844 8712253 – For Technical Support call 0844 8712233 – For LIFE Mobile Customer Service call 0844 3221133.
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