Verizon Wireless to return to RadioShack in September
After a five-year hiatus, Verizon Wireless will return to RadioShack shelves starting September 15, the retailer announced Tuesday. The move would end a rocky two year relationship with T-Mobile, who as recently as April was accused by RadioShack of being in breach of contract.
Verizon lost its longstanding contract with RadioShack back in 2006, when the electronics retailer instead chose to partner with Cingular through 2015. The company also around that time renewed its contract with Sprint, which will be sold in stores through 2016.
T-Mobile was added to RadioShack's lineup in 2009. However, for undisclosed reasons the two companies never saw eye to eye, with RadioShack going as far as to take actions "to minimize the risks of the company's uncertain relationship" with the carrier. It is not clear whether T-Mobile's proposed merger with AT&T was a consideration.
Either way, T-Mobile's phones will stop being sold in the retailer's 4,300-plus company-owned stores on September 14. The return to Verizon Wireless could help to rejuvenate wireless sales at RadioShack, which have seen steady decline in recent quarters.
Verizon also regains an important partner. At the time it lost the contract, RadioShack was accounting for as much as 10 percent of new subscriber additions. This put it as one of the company's top resellers.
"This is a substantial win for our customers, as this relationship with the nation's largest wireless provider will further enhance our position as a leading multi-carrier wireless retailer," RadioShack president and CEO Jim Gooch said in a statement.
Wall Street has responded positively to Tuesday's moves. RadioShack shares were up nearly 20 percent in heavy volume, while shares of Verizon saw a modest uptick in moderate trading.