Radio Shack has announced in a press release that it will begin to carry Verizon Wireless products and services on September 15th while dropping T-Mobile products and services the day before on September 14th. The move affects 4300 stores controlled by the corporate office in Ft. Worth TX while remaining franchisees are unaffected by the move.
Radio Shack began offering Verizon Wireless services at the launch of the carrier in 1999 but dropped the carrier in 2004 in favor of T-Mobile when the carrier signed an exclusive third party agreement with the former Circuit City before the chain’s demise in 2008. The move will not affect the availability of other carriers such as AT&T and Sprint along with prepaid services.
The company continues to struggle with selling wireless devices, which may now account for a majority of its revenue. Radio Shack stores are often located within close proximity to first-party wireless retailers, making it a challenge to offer competitive advantage without discounting devices, and cutting into profit margins. Strict price controls from companies such as Apple also have added to RadioShack’s differentiator challenges in recent years.