Vodafone buys 140 Phones 4u stores safeguarding 900 jobs

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Operator, partially blamed for firms collapse, to take over 140 stores safeguarding 900 jobs. Administrators confirms 628 head office jobs axed so far. 

Vodafone has confirmed that it is to purchase 140 Phones 4u stores out of administration, saving 900 retail jobs.

The operator, whom axed Phones 4u earlier this month, said it had been approached by administrators, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and decided to make an offer to accelerate its retail expansion.

Despite the positive news PwC also announced that more than 600 people at Phones 4u’s Stoke-on-Trent head office were being made redundant.

Vodafone had announced plans to open up 150 new stores in April 2014, so the purchase of 140 Phones 4u outlets would almost complete the expansion in one fell swoop.

The operator currently has 354 stores and the deal will push it towards its target of 504 outlets. In April, it also said it would be hiring 1,400 retail staff.

A statement from the operator said that, subject to court approval, it would begin rebranding the stores and engaging with staff at the stricken retailer. It is unclear whether the 900 staff being retained as part of the deal would cover all employees working at the store. No one from Vodafone was available for comment at the time of writing.

Phones 4u entered administration earlier this week following the collapse of negotiations with Vodafone and EE over extending their distribution partnership with the retailer.

Dixons Carphone confirmed it would be offering jobs to the 800 Phones 4u staff working at the 160 Currys/Pc World concession outlets. It also said that Phones 4u staff could apply for one of the 1500 jobs that it is currently recruiting for.

Mobile News understands that EE is in discussions with PwC over a ‘handful’ of stores.

The firm has signed an NDA with PwC and is in the process of identifying a number of stores with a view to purchasing them.

A source close to EE confirmed that all members of existing Phones 4u staff would be offered jobs with the operator as part of any deal.

Sources at Three ruled themselves out of the running for any retail outlets but said they were currently recruiting for more than 200 vacancies across its retail network.

 

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