Handy Closes in Bulgaria After Mtel Contract Ends

The mobile phone retailers Handy closes down after its contract with Mobiltel was ended. This is a part of a larger trend in this sector, as most sales of mobile phones happen either through the mobile phone operators or the larger tech chains.

Handy Endy

The news was reported by Capital.bg. According to their data, Handy once had 150 stores and more than 800 employees all over Bulgaria, numbers that slowly declined as the market changed. People nowadays started to get their phones directly from the Telecom giants, often as part of a larger contract.

80% of the sales of phones are made through those telecoms and the other 20% from the tech stores like Technomarket that also sell other types of electronics, thus not depending solely on phones like Handy did.

Capital.bg contacted Mtel (Mobiltel) and got a confirmation that their partnership with Handy was ended on March 2nd. The two companies have been working together since 2005. Handy wasn’t reached for comment, as all of their phones remained unanswered.

All of Mobiltel’s contracts carried out with the help of Handy will continue to function. There was speculation that the telecom giant may switch Handy with another phone chain, but according to Capital.bg, that is unlikely to happen as the company has its own infrastructure for phone devices. Indeed, this may be a nail in the coffin of independent phone retailers.

Handy’s official website claims that the company is currently “suspending the activities of the chain for telecommunication tech.” It's unlikely that the company will return to the Bulgarian market.

Handy was founded by Nikolai Filipov in 2001. In 2005, the company spread to Macedonia and Serbia, where most of Handy’s business in 2016 came from. The founder of the company was also persecuted for tax evasion but managed to avoid criminal liability by paying the owed sum and a fine of BGN 5000. Prior to their partnership with Mobiltel, Handy worked with Globul (now Telenor, a company that’s being sold to Petr Kellner’s PPF Group.)

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Alex Dimchev

Alex Dimchev is a writer, editor, and weapons master for EUscoop.com

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