Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Radio Shack to operate mobile centers within Target stores

Earlier today, Target announced that it will partner with Radio Shack to open Target Mobile centers within 850 of Target's stores in the U.S. by the end of this year and virtually all Target stores by the end of next year. This is a direct move to counter the increased emphasis on mobile at Best Buy and Wal-Mart. In particular, it looks very similar to Best Buy's partnership with Carphone Warehouse, the U.K.'s largest independent mobile phone retailer. In order to increase its mobile retailing expertise, Best Buy acquired 50% of Carphone Warehouse in 2008, and the two companies together developed the Best Buy Mobile centers that are now located in all Best Buy stores, as well as 77 free-standing Best Buy Mobile stores.

Radio Shack has been rumored to be in play for acquisition, but it seems very unlikely that Target would partner so closely with a company that might be purchased by a competitor. Therefore, it's likely that Target is in the running to acquire part or all of Radio Shack. If the in-store Target Mobile centers are successful, this could lead to some Radio Shack stores being rebranded as Target Mobile stores.
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