Las Vegas – GameStop is stepping up its cellular profile with the announcement that AT&T no-contract subsidiary Cricket Wireless will be the exclusive cellular provider in more than 2,800 of GameStop’s 4,200 U.S. stores.
The announcement, made here at the start of CTIA’s Super Mobility Week, marks the first time that GameStop stores will sell new phones in its stores and activate them for consumers, a spokesperson said.
The game retailer currently sells refurbished phones without activation in its brick-and-mortar stores and online. GameStop has also been selling TracFone’s Net 10-brand prepaid cards in its stores, and customers had to activate their own phones with the service. “We will be discontinuing the selling of Net 10 services in our GameStop stores and will sell through the remaining inventory of Net 10 prepaid cards in our stores,” a spokesperson told TWICE.
Starting in October, GameStop will begin selling Cricket’s no-contract 4G LTE service and the Cricket-network HTC Desire 510 and ZTE Sonata 4G in its brick-and-mortar stores in a phased rollout expected to be complete by the end of October. GameStop will also activate Cricket service on refurbished pre-owned phones that it sells.
Besides operating GameStop stores, GameStop also operates 48 Cricket-brand stores in select markets in the U.S. and 238 AT&T-branded stores, which sell AT&T postpaid service. GameStop also operates 33 Simply Mac stores that sell the full line of Apple products, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
“Cricket Wireless’ partnership with GameStop accelerates our retail footprint across the U.S., solidifying our position as a national player,” said Cricket Wireless president Jennifer Van Buskirk.
In the GameStop stores, customers will be able to trade in their existing phones, video games systems and other electronic devices to save on the purchase of a new Cricket phone, the companies noted. “Since Cricket has plans as low as $35 a month after a $5 credit for using Auto Pay, taxes and fees included, the customer will have more money to spend on other products inside GameStop stores,” GameStop said.
Both companies separately offer loyalty programs, and they are “exploring ways to leverage their loyalty programs to offer customers even more amazing offers,” GameStop added.
To promote its availability in GameStop stores, Cricket created a 3D interactive video game to take consumers through a virtual-reality rendering of its planned footprint within GameStop stores. The game will be demonstrated in Cricket’s booth in the Connected Life area of the convention.
Also in its stores, GameStop sells refurbished tablets, other refurbished electronics and new Android tablets.