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RadioShack Bolsters Sales Using Kiosks at Target and Sam's Club

RadioShack third-quarter profits were down 24 percent but the company benefited from better-than-expected sales, some of which was attributed to the company's introduction of Verizon Wireless to its Sam's Club kiosks. In September RadioShack announced it will introduce Verizon Wireless in neary 450 Sam's Club wireless kiosks that it operates nationwide. Verizon -- the largest U.S. wireless carrier with about 80 million subscribers -- will make its hand-held devices and services available through Sam's Club wireless kiosks operated by RadioShack effective Oct. 1.

Radio Shack’s Kiosk Operations division is also launching their BullsEye Mobile Solutions inside of Target stores. Roll out begins in California with 104 stores. Nationwide roll-out total locations inside of Target is expected to be 1100 to 1500 locations by end of 2010, with eventually leading to a total of 1800 retail locations, including locations inside of Sam’s club. The Target locations will consist of three carriers which are Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. In addition, Radio Shack is already inside of Sam’s club locations but with one diffference; an additional carrier, Sprint are carried at the Sam’s club locations. Pricing will be extremely competitive with Best Buy and other retail locations.

Specifically, RadioShack reported a net income of $37.4 million, down from a net income of $49.1 million in third-quarter 2008. Sales from the company's 1,300 RadioShack stores dropped 15.7 percent and online sales fell 5.1 percent from the same quarter a year ago. Wireless represents more than one-third of RadioShack's total sales.  Company executives said that there was some uptick toward the end of the quarter because of netbook sales and other mobile products. Company executives said RadioShack benefited from having a full range of mobile products--the retailer recently added T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless to a lineup that includes Sprint Nextel and AT&T Mobility.

RadioShack is facing increased competition in mobile from the likes of Best Buy Mobile and Wal-Mart Mobile. Best Buy is expanding its Best Buy Mobile stores to more markets, and Wal-Mart recently started selling TracFone's prepaid service Straight Talk nationwide.

These retailers may soon be jumping on the consumer generated coverage map bandwagon, realizing their consumers are tired of looking at carrier generated coverage maps from 50,000 feet.  We think is most important for consumer generated coverage maps to reflect real customer experiences indoors and outdoors.  Its also, very important to have granular data down to the individual house, neighborhood, street and zip code level. Many of these retailers are trying to figure out what data is important and how they can the acquire it.  Keep your eyes open for mobile retailers who may soon begin offering beta map products soon.

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