HARTLEPOOL’S branch of the mobile phone store Phones 4u was shut today after the business suddenly went into administration.
A notice in the window of the shop in the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre advised customers to call various customer service lines which remain open.
The note apologised and said it would update customers as soon as possible and was signed off by “the heartbroken Phones4U team”.
The Hartlepool store was one of more than 500 Phones 4u branches nationally that did not open for business on Monday putting 5,600 jobs into jeopardy.
The collapse followed a shock decision of Phones 4u’s last remaining mobile operator partner, EE, to cut ties with the retailer.
Staff are waiting to hear from administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers on whether the private equity-owned business can be reopened for trading.
All mobile contracts bought through Phones 4u will remain unaffected and the networks will continue to provide mobile services to customers.
Phones 4u chief executive David Kassler said: “If the mobile network operators decline to supply us, we do not have a business.
“A good company making profits of over £100 million, employing thousands of decent people has been forced into administration.
“The great service we have provided should have guaranteed a strong future, but unfortunately our network partners have decided otherwise.
“The ultimate result will be less competition, less choice and higher prices for mobile customers in the UK.”