Richmond, Va. — Circuit City has begun a system-wide rollout of in-store, self-service kiosks that will allow customers to activate newly purchased Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile phones online.
The move represents an extension of a self-serve concept launched two years ago for broadband Internet access. It also marks the return to the chain of No. 1 wireless carrier Verizon — which is supplanting Cingular, AT&T and Sprint — and the expansion of T-Mobile service to all stores within the provider’s coverage areas.
Circuit City had previously provided wireless activation upon request, but the Internet-linked kiosks are designed to speed up and simplify the process.
The kiosks are already in place in 30 select stores with redesigned wireless departments, but will be rolled out to all Circuit City locations by September.
The revamped wireless sections, which are part of a planned 200-store refixturing effort, are being moved to the front of stores and will feature PDAs and accessories.
Circuit City last offered Verizon service five years ago when the carrier was a regional provider. The changeover began with the phase-out of Cingular, and will extend to AT&T by the end of July and to Sprint by Sept. 4.
In other news, Circuit City hasentered a four-year, $500 million senior revolving credit facility, which is secured by inventory and assets arising out of the sale of inventory. The credit facility replaces $210 million in unsecured committed lines of credit.
The new facility primarily will finance working capital needs, but also provides flexibility for general corporate purposes.
'This credit facility strengthens our liquidity and gives us an attractive source of funding to help pursue our financial and strategic objectives,' said Michael E. Foss, senior VP/CFO.