RadioShack (NYSE:RSH) and Defense Mobile have signed an agreement making the retailer the exclusive distributor of Defense's new nationwide 4G LTE mobile services.
Defense Mobile is launching nationwide mobile services and a set of value-added applications that are designed to benefit, honor and reward active U.S. military and veterans.
RadioShack will begin branded services to the 51.6 million military members starting in September. Defense Mobile brands include services for Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine and Coast Guard, and the customers are active (Reserve and National Guard included) military, veterans and their family members.
The mobile brands will be available at 2,500 RadioShack stores by 2015. The established partnerships will include the nation's largest network operators and device manufacturers and will even offer financing options to eligible customers for smartphones.
"At RadioShack, we know the importance of connecting veterans and those serving in the military with their loved ones. We feel honored to add the complete line of Defense Mobile services to our mobility offerings," said Paul Rutenis, chief merchandising officer at RadioShack. "We have long offered a 10 percent discount to military families and launching Defense Mobile is one more way we can provide custom offerings to these loyal consumers."
Some of the special added-value applications available at launch include MiliCASH, a banking application with a pre-paid, pre-approved MasterCard that gives cash back rewards at participating merchants. Also MiliSOURCE, an application that helps veteran families find and receive benefits from veteran service organizations. Finally, customers have access to MiliMAIL, an email service providing transitioning military personnel with a unique email confirming their affiliation with the branch of service they served.
The contract comes as RadioShack looks for rescue financing to avoid a bankruptcy filing. Earlier this year, RadioShack implemented some significant changes as part of a plan to re-invent its image. One "soft touch" effort focuses on store redesign and includes in-store mobile integration.
-See this RadioShack press release
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