AT&T's Cricket expands distribution in deal with grocery chain Meijer

AT&T Mobility's (NYSE: T) Cricket prepaid brand struck a 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.

Meijer customers can purchase new Cricket phones or Bring Your Own Device Universal SIM Card activation kits for their existing compatible phones, and activate them online with a qualifying rate plan. The expansion will affect stores throughout Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio. The companies said Meijer stores will offer a variety of "Grab & Go" phones from OEMs such as HTC, LG, Samsung and ZTE. 

"Cricket is excited to be working with a fellow retail pioneer like Meijer. Meijer invented 'one-stop shopping' and Cricket 're-invented' the no-contract shopping experience," Reed Good, Cricket's director of sales operations, said in a statement. "Together, we share a deep commitment to providing consumers with a first-class retail experience that includes quality products and services at affordable prices. With Meijer, we'll extend that commitment to even more consumers across the Midwest, helping them gain access to the smartest choice in wireless."

This isn't the first time Cricket has moved to expand its distribution in a bid to boost sales. In October 2014 the company started selling its service along with smartphones and accessories in more than 2,800 GameStop retail stores nationwide.

AT&T CFO John Stephens said in May that the Cricket brand now has 5 million subscribers. That 5 million mark is significant because that was the total number of subscribers Cricket had when AT&T announced its intention to purchase former Cricket parent Leap Wireless in July 2013. Cricket lost customers as the transition progressed and as AT&T shut down parts of Cricket's legacy CDMA network, a process that will be finished in September.

For more:
- see this Cricket release
- see this PhoneScoop article

Related articles:
AT&T's Cricket brand shows stability as subs hit 5M
AT&T's Cricket launches new device financing options, kills promotional 20 GB plan
T-Mobile's GoSmart and AT&T's Cricket add data to plans, U.S. Cellular drops prepaid pricing
AT&T's Cricket to replace Muve Music with Deezer; will finish CDMA shutdown Sept. 15