Sprint and Dixons Carphone, the European cellphone and consumer electronics retailer, agreed to form a joint venture to open as many as 500 new Sprint-branded stores across the U.S.
The decision follows a pilot program announced last July in which the two companies built about 20 stores. If the pilot stores were successful, Sprint said at the time, a joint venture created by the two would open and operate “a substantial number” of Sprint-brand stores.
The pilot stores, Sprint said, “resulted in strong sales performance and increased customer satisfaction ratings.”
In a previous joint venture with Best Buy, Dixons helped launch Best Buy Mobile stores and brought the Geek Squad program to Europe.
Under the agreement, Sprint and the Dixons Carphone Connected World Services (CWS) division will build and operate the stores in “multiple” U.S. markets. Each company will split the startup costs, and each will own 50 percent of the joint venture.
The number of Sprint-branded outlets is currently at about 4,500 locations in the U.S., including about 1,400 co-branded Sprint-RadioShack stores opened last year.
“Sprint is committed to providing the best possible experience for our customers and that begins at the retail store level,” said Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. “We have seen incredible results from our pilot program, and I’m confident that expanding our partnership will accelerate Sprint’s distribution expansion and ongoing retail transformation.”
Dixon’s presence in the U.S. predates its affiliation with Best Buy. In 1987, Dixon’s bought the parent of Philadelphia-based 90-store retailer Silo.