By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Boost Wireless is nearing completion of its distribution rollout in the seven new markets in which it launched service in late March.
The markets are New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Florida, Texas, Minneapolis and the Chicago-Milwaukee-Indiana region. They join Boost's California and Nevada markets, where the company launched its prepaid service in September 2002.
In the expansion markets in early June, the youth-oriented MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) rolled out distribution of its handsets, Re-Boost prepaid cards and accessories to almost all stores owned and operated by Nextel, which owns Boost. That followed a rollout in all Best Buy, Sam Goody/Musicland, Target and Wal-Mart outlets in those markets, said a spokesman.
Boost also recently signed up American Wireless as a master agent in the Texas and Midwest markets, joining 20 other expansion-market master agents that target wireless specialty stores. The master agents are still in the process of rolling out products to retail stores, the spokesperson said.
In the seven new markets, Boost's next distribution step is an expansion into youth-oriented "urban-fashion" retailers. They could include stores that sell clothing and other types of products to youth. Youth-oriented sport stores are also under consideration.
In California and Nevada, Boost sells direct to such youth-oriented retailers as surf and skateboard shops, and in one case, it sells to a store selling clothing and technology to youth, the spokesman said.
The company, which boasted 537,000 subscribers at the end of the first quarter, supported its seven-market launch with an advertising campaign that grew in late April to include national cable TV ads. In mid-June, the company planned to launch local TV spots in the seven markets.
Boost will mull the success of its seven new markets before expanding into any additional markets, the spokesman said.
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