By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
To provide a more comprehensive service offering to customers — while enhancing their recurring revenue streams — RadioShack and Best Buy have expanded their wireless and broadband provider rosters, respectively.
For RadioShack, the enhanced phone service assortment follows a multi-year deal with Wireless Retail, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based specialty dealer. More than 2,000 dealer/franchise RadioShack stores nationwide will be able to tap into Wireless Retail's national carrier agreements with such providers as T-Mobile, AT&T Wireless, Cingular, Verizon, Alltel and Nextel.
Wireless Retail will handle all carrier negotiations for RadioShack stores, and will provide each location with an account manager and field support. Each store will also use Wireless Retail's one point POS, a proprietary point-of-sale system that captures all sales and customer information in real time, allowing for accurate forecasting, tracking, reporting and reconciling.
RadioShack chairman/CEO Len Roberts said the deal offers his dealers and franchisees the advantages of a multiple-carrier and turnkey operation while avoiding inventory costs. "The company's aggregator business model makes it easy to provide the most popular wireless phones and rate plans from many of the nation's leading wireless carriers all under one roof," he said.
Meanwhile, Best Buy announced that its expanded broadband coverage now allows it to offer at least one DSL or Internet cable option at more than 90 percent of its locations, and two-way satellite broadband access at nearly all of its 528 stores.
The services, which vary by region, encompass 15 different cable, DSL and satellite broadband options from such providers as AT&T, Charter, Comcast, Cox, EarthLink and Mediacom for cable; BellSouth, MSN Broadband, SBC, Sprint and Verizon Online for DSL; and Hughes Network Systems' Direcway for two-way satellite.
Best Buy has installed broadband "Activation Stations" throughout the chain. The kiosks, which are powered by Get Connected, mirror a similar merchandising approach by Circuit City, qualify users by ZIP code, allow them to compare features, functions and prices, and to purchase the service and related equipment.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.