PHONES4u stores across Bromsgrove and Northfield have been closed after the company went into administration.
The move means that 5,596 jobs at 700 stores nationwide – including those in the two towns – are at risk.
The independent mobile phone company has an annual turnover of £1billion and also runs its own network operator Life Mobile Limited – that is also in administration.
Robert Jonathan Hunt, Ian David Green and Robert John Moran of PwC have been appointed as administrators to Phones4u Limited (P4U),
Mr Hunt described it as a very sad day for the business and the people working there.
“In light of our impending appointment the directors understandably took the decision to close all the shops today and sent many staff home.
“Our initial focus will be to quickly engage with parties who may be interested in acquiring all or part of the business, and to better understand the financial position and options for the company. The stores will remain closed while we have these conversations.
“We will also be talking to network operators and suppliers, and trying to access funds to pay for the costs of the business, including wages.”
He added those conversations would determine whether stores could reopen and trade and also if and when the arrears of wages to employees could be paid.
“Our hope is that we will be able to pay all the outstanding wages arrears.” he said.
A sign on the shutters of the Northfield store read: ‘Following the unexpected decision of EE and Vodafone to withdraw supply from Phones4U we regret this store is currently closed.
‘Please accept our apologies and we will update you as soon as possible’.
It then – after listing the customer service numbers, signed off with: ‘Thank you for your custom, the heartbroken Phones4u team’.
The Northfield store this evening.
The customer notice on the shutters of the Northfield store. s