Belfast Telegraph

Two-thirds of Phones 4u jobs lost following administration

By Clare Weir

Almost 40 people will lose their jobs with the closure of nine Phones 4u stores in Northern Ireland.

In all just over 20 jobs will remain here after the company announced last week that it had gone into administration after losing two major contracts with EE and Vodafone - which have since bought some of the remaining stores.

The stores at Donegall Place and Castle Lane in Belfast, Foyleside Shopping Centre in Londonderry, Bow Street Mall, Lisburn, Buttercrane Shopping Centre, Newry, Ards Shopping Centre, Rushmere Shopping Centre, Craigavon and Church Street, Coleraine will all close, with around 37 redundancies.

Earlier this week, Phones 4u administrators from PwC confirmed that EE would acquire 58 Phones 4u stores, preserving 359 jobs.

None of the stores to be acquired by EE is in Northern Ireland.

However, Vodafone UK agreed to acquire 140 of the Phones 4u stores, four of which are in Northern Ireland.

These are in Newtownabbey, which employs eight people, Bangor's Bloomfield Centre, which has seven staff, the Fairhill Centre in Ballymena which employs four people and in Omagh, where three jobs will be saved.

Dixons Carphone has agreed to offer employment to around 800 staff employed in around 164 Phones 4u concessions located in Dixon Carphone outlets.

The administrators said that there had been limited interest in the balance of the remaining 362 stores.

In total, 1,697 staff will be made redundant.

Some 720 people have been retained in the short term to assist with the closure programme.

At the date of administration, there were 16 Phones 4u outlets in Northern Ireland.

Belfast Telegraph