Where did you buy your last cell phone? From a service provider or mass merchant? There are a growing number of stores trying to woo your mobile business by offering a bit more variety.
Best Buy has opened six Mobile stores in the Dallas market. It's not the first such concept; Best Buy partnered with the British Carphone Warehouse chain to test the concept in select markets three years ago. New York has been up and running since 2007, and the effort has been considered successful enough to expand.
Expanding into Dallas pits two similar concepts against each other; RadioShack operates three Point Mobl stores in the area and has headquarters in nearby Fort Worth. The move is the retail equivalent of storming the opponent's home field. Best Buy already has Mobile stores in its hometown of Minneapolis.
Best Buy claims market dominance in many consumer electronic categories, including home entertainment hardware and digital cameras. It has long offered a varied selection of mobile devices from all the major carriers in its big box stores, but never got the customer traffic it wanted. Opening dedicated stores is the next attempt to fill its stores with consumers.
RadioShack, for all its other failures, has excelled at selling mobile phones and plans for a long time. Management used to boast that the chain sold more cellular phones than all other retailers combined. Mobile devices are still one-third of the Shack's total sales. New advertising, a store name change and marketing attempts to remind the public of this fact may be too little too late, now that Best Buy Mobile has entered the market.
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