More stores from failed British mobile phone retailer Phones 4U
are being scooped up for use by a second carrier, with shops to be rebranded and reopened in a short space of time. EE, operator of Orange and T-Mobile in the country, has signed a deal with administrators to acquire 58 of the stores from the company, pending court approval, and in the process attempt to keep on 359 affected employees at the locations.
The Register writes
that the purchase is worth £2.5 million, though EE had only until yesterday to place an offer with Phones 4U administrators PwC. This marks the second major attempt by other companies to help Phones 4U staff, with competing carrier Vodafone
picking up 140 stores and 900 staff, and Dixons Carphone taking on 800 employees. Despite Phones 4U laying off 628 head office staff with redundancy packages, there is still approximately 2,800 staff left unemployed.
EE's attempts to help may be seen as too little too late, as the carrier and Vodafone have received blame for the company's demise by not renewing sales contracts, in turn leaving Phones 4U without a product to sell. John Caudwell, founder of Phones 4U who sold the company in 2006, told the BBC
the "ruthless actions" of the "predatory" carriers amounted to an "unprecedented assassination" of the store chain.