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National Wireless Independent Dealer Association

Best Buy Removes Carrier-branded ‘Stores’ at Some Locations

Best Buy removes carrier-branded ‘stores-within-stores’ at some locations - NWIDAAccording to an article at Fierce Wireless (link below), and thanks to research from Wave7, Best Buy has removed its carrier-branded stores-within-stores, displays and desks at some locations. 

Jeff Moore, principal analyst at Wave7, said the changes started in mid-March. “What we currently do not know is what percent of Best Buy stores have had the change,” Moore said. “We’ve checked six stores in the last few weeks, and three of them had the change.”

Best Buy has removed the large carrier-branded signage and tables for Sprint, Verizon and AT&T at the three locations. Moore said the company appears to be arranging phones by manufacturer, rather than carrier, at the three stores in question. “There is no major branded presence for postpaid carriers in these Best Buy locations. In the stores that have had the change, you can still activate phones for AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, but the carrier at these stores seems to be an afterthought. The emphasis seems to be on phones…”

He added that the stores are instead showcasing unlocked mobile phone models, with pricing listed for activating each phone on one the three carriers. “You almost need a magnifying glass to see, ‘oh yes this phone will activate with AT&T’,” he said.

The new layout could serve to open up mobile phone market to more device makers, Moore said. The new layout “really opens up the U.S. OEM market,” he added.

It’s unclear if the change is the result of Best Buy’s evolving relationship with mobile phone makers, or whether the new layout will expand to more locations. Best Buy did not respond to a request for comment on the changes.

To read the entire article, click HERE.

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