13:09 15 September 2014
Retailers Phones 4U have gone into administrations putting 5,596 jobs in jeapordy. The chain has confirmed that its 550 stores are closing and blamed the move on mobile network EE’s decision not to renew its contract.
"If mobile network operators decline to supply us, we do not have a business," said Phones 4U boss David Kassler.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for EE said the decision not to renew its contract with Phones 4U was "driven by developments in the marketplace that have called into question the long term viability of the Phones 4U business".
Professor Andre Spicer, from the Cass Business School, said customers had less need of high street phone shops in any case: "Currently the networks are asking how they can take over more of the supply chain so they can reap a greater percentage of the profit created.
"Consumers are no longer scared of smart phones. This means they are less in need of a sales person to walk them through the purchase. Instead, they are likely to be happier buying devices online. This leaves retailers with less space for growth."