Sprint is joining forces with Dixons Carphone, considered the largest electronics and telecoms retail company in the United Kingdom today. Their collaboration could result in 500 new Sprint stores opening across the United States.
Right now, Sprint currently sits at third place among the biggest wireless carriers based in the US with a customer base numbering around 57 million subscribers. The carrier is trying to chase industry leaders Verizon Wireless and AT&T, and at the same time, is fighting to fend off fourth placer T-Mobile, who is trying to supplant Sprint’s spot. Working with Dixons Carphone could really help Sprint protect its spot.
As for Dixons Carphone, its partnership with an American wireless carrier would mark the first time that the UK retail giant is doing something outside of its turf, at least after the $59 billion merger that happened last summer between Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse.
The timing is also pretty remarkable. Sprint just recently revealed that it will be rolling out over 1,400 mini-stores within RadioShack shops, after RadioShack went bankrupt and got subsequently acquired this year, as reported by Business Wire. Sprint’s partnership with Dixon Carphone would boost its current efforts for further expansion.
But wait -- what exactly is the nature of the collaboration? For starters, Dixons Carphone will launch and then manage 20 stores branded with Sprint in the cities of Miami and Chicago starting next month throughout fall. If this initial rollout goes well, Dixons Carphone could proceed to launching 500 more stores.
Sprint and Dixons Carphone each hold 50 percent of the joint venture, which could lead the UK retail company to invest as much as $31 million. Sure, that investment is not much but it would qualify as a low risk move for Dixons Carphone. But by doing so, the deal could be the company’s ticket to penetrating the US market.
For UK based retailers, crossing the Atlantic Ocean and establishing a presence in America has not always been easy. Carphone Warehouse actually made an effort back in 2008, forging an alliance with American company Best Buy, a retail giant in its own right. However, Best Buy went on to purchase the US stores from its UK partners, but did not have much luck penetrating the UK market. As a matter of fact, the stores it opened in Britain in 2010 were later closed after three years.
Perhaps trying to learn the past, Dixons Carphone now is trying to take it slow. Opening a few stores initially in Miami and Chicago seems like a good approach. But if it turns out to be successful, there is no doubt both Dixons Carphone and Sprint could benefit immensely from the outcome.
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