Will Phones 4U be saved? – Trophy Blog #108

Trophy Blog #108 ~ Sadly over the last few weeks it looks like another high street name has been affected. Phones 4U recently went into administration putting over 5,000 jobs at risk throughout the UK. This includes the staff at the Selby branch in Market Cross. I’m sure everyone reading this wishes the local staff good luck in these stressful times. During last week the shutters remained closed in the town centre store with a note on the window explaining what had happened. At the time of writing, lots of work is being done behind the scenes to try and make the core business viable and save some, if not, all of the jobs. At one time the company was one of the biggest mobile retailers in the UK, but the company has recently shrunk in size after networks starting selling themselves in their own stores and more and more deals we’re being done online. Excising Phones 4U customers have taken to social media to complain about being left in the dark about payments and contracts. The administrators have issued contact numbers for advice and help. EE joined Vodafone and O2 in not renewing contracts with the company, so Phones4U couldn’t offer a full range of services it’s customers expected. With over 5000 wages to pay on top of other bills such as rent something needed to be done. John Caudwell, the founder of Phones 4U, blamed the demise of his former company on the “ruthless actions” of mobile phone networks, which of course the networks have denied. He sold the company for over a billion pounds and rumours have been circulating that he could return and pick up the pieces. Fingers crossed for everyone involved.  

about the author

We are pleased to announce the merger of LRB Trophies with Cameo Engraving in York and The Trophy & Print Shop in Norton.


  1. Ian Pinnell

    Although it’s now looking unlikely Phones4U will be saved, I feel it couldn’t compete with the likes of Carphone Warehouse, and standalone phone stores.

    Phones4U was good in it’s heyday when the ads had Scary Mary, but since those days, it’s gone downhill – it felt on their marketing they were not sure who to attract to their business.

  2. Heather Maskill

    As a small business with a shop on the high street for almost 14 years, I have seen lots come and go. The internet is a great place but if you want great service, I still believe the high street is the perfect place to shop. We all must try harder and not only support the high street, but the independent traders who really make a town worth visiting.

  3. Craig Anstey

    Whilst this is sad news for all the staff affected I think it was always likely to happen. As the article points out there are more and more service providers such as Vodafone, EE etc that are now choosing to sell direct to customers in the high street. Very difficult for the likes of Phones4u and Carphone Warehouse to compete.

  4. Steve Butler

    I agree, The operators are going to cut out the ‘middle men’ and use their own brand as the promotion. Why pay other people to do a job you can do yourself? – Hopefully the redundant staff can be rehired in the new stores.

  5. Steve Butler

    The Councils need to help the high street traders, rather then taking the easy money for out of town retail parks. I agree with offering great customer service, sadly people are use to clicking the button and waiting for the courier. Great businesses will adapt to both!

  6. Steve Butler

    Hi Ian, Yes I agree. The original owner knew when to sell up and make his billions. Since then, sadly they have been on downhill slope. We had a Phones4U store in my local town, I gave it a clear birth as the sales guys grabbed you as soon as you went near the place. I like sales people to help, but only when I have had chance to have a look and get my bearings.

leave a comment