According to a RadioShack press release, the chain of electronics stores is going to discontinue offering T-Mobile phones and plans in their stores after September 14, 2011. The next day they will instead be offering Verizon Wireless products and services.
They say their new agreement will apply to 4,300 “corporate owned” stores and their website, meaning independent locations may (or may not) still offer devices and plans for T-Mobile or other, local carriers.
RadioShack’s Jim Gooch (president and CEO) says “This is a substantial win for our customers, as this relationship with the nation’s largest wireless provider will further enhance our position as a leading multi-carrier wireless retailer. The addition of Verizon Wireless, in combination with our existing carrier partners, positions us to now offer the best assortment of carriers, rate plans, devices and accessories for every consumer need.”
Verizon hopes the partnership will attract more customers. Verizon’s Dan Mead (president and ceo) thinks “… this as an opportunity to substantially extend our customer reach at a time when our portfolio of mobile products has never been more exciting. RadioShack has a long track record of providing customers with quality products and services in convenient locations around the country, and we are delighted to join with them on this venture.”
We suspect this move came in large part due to the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger. Verizon may be betting on the chance that T-Mobile customers who bought their phone or plan from their local RadioShack will likely return to “the Shack” to get a new device or service plan when their contact is up, or when (if?) the merger goes through.