Cricket Scales Back National Retail Distribution

By Joseph Palenchar On Jan 23 2013 - 3:20pm

San Diego – Prepaid wireless carrier Cricket pulled out of most of its national retail accounts with the exception of Walmart and RadioShack at the end of last year, the carrier confirmed.

The company pulled out of Kmart, Dollar General, Target, and Amazon as “part of our previously announced strategy of narrowing our focus in national retail and reducing the number of our national retail doors,” a spokesman told TWICE. “We conducted an intensive review of our national retail partnerships to evaluate their performance in three key areas: the customer experience, customer retention and profitability. As a result, we are sharpening our focus on a smaller set of our most productive national retailers.”

Cricket distribution now consists of about 5,000 Radio Shack and Walmart locations, about 2,700 Cricket-branded stores (consisting of Cricket-owned stores and independent cellular stores that sell Cricket service exclusively), and about 2,175 independent cellular stores that might sell more than one wireless brand, the spokesman said.

In some cases, Cricket exited some chains almost as soon as it entered. In mid-May of 2012, for example, Cricket began selling through 2,100 Kmart locations. In April 2012, Cricket entered almost 1,600 Target stores, where RadioShack handled cellular sales. RadioShack’s deal with Target, however, expired at the end of 2012.

For the nine months ending Sept. 30, 2012, Cricket posted a net loss of $115 million on $2.4 billion in revenues. For the same period in 2011, Cricket posted a net loss of $230 million and revenues of $2.3 billion.

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