Lenovo's Motorola Mobility unit is opening up an "experimental boutique" retail store in downtown Chicago, not far from its headquarters there. The launch could give some luster to Motorola's brand and is a reminder that even though it is cutting jobs in Chicago it still is based in the Windy City. The rollout also reflects a growing trend among technology companies to open their own retail outlets in large cities.
Sprint will start selling the Apple Watch on Sept. 25, the same day that Apple's new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus go on sale, becoming the first U.S. carrier to confirm sales of the smart watch. Sprint could be hoping that the watch helps drive consumers to its stores just as iPhone sales are getting underway.
AT&T and Verizon Wireless will have dedicated showcase areas manned by trained Best Buy employees in 250 Best Buy stores nationwide by the end of the year.
Sprint said it is now selling its service at 4,500 retail locations across the country thanks in large part to its partnership with RadioShack. The carrier also announced a partnership with European mobile retailer Dixons Carphone to launch a pilot program of around 20 stores in the U.S.
AT&T Mobility's Cricket prepaid brand struck deal with Meijer stores to expand its distribution into 213 of the chain's supercenter grocery stores throughout the Midwest. Sales of the carrier's service in the stores started on Saturday.
Sprint expanded its "Direct 2 You" service, in which sales representatives meet customers at their homes, offices or other locations to set up their new smartphones, to four new major markets: Denver, Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco. The carrier plans to keep rolling out the offering to new markets throughout 2015, including Dallas, Tampa, Fla., and Washington, D.C., in early July.
Sprint has made a lot of news recently about plans to expand its distribution and even bring phones directly to customers. It's all part of an effort to retain the company's customer base and drum up more sales in the hopes of growing net subscriber additions. However, unless Sprint clarifies its brand message and improves its 2.5 GHz LTE network, I fear it will not amount to much.
Fresh off its deal to co-brand more than 1,400 stores with RadioShack, Sprint is seeking to shake up mobile retailing with a program to travel or customers' homes, offices or other convenient locations to set up their new phones.
Sprint is wasting no time expanding its retail presence via a partnership with the newly restructured RadioShack. Sprint said that tomorrow it will more than double its company-owned retail footprint by opening 1,435 Sprint/RadioShack stores.
Sprint will take on a prominent role in the rebranding of the new, slimmed-down RadioShack as the retailer prepares to exit bankruptcy protection.