Sprint opens 1,400 cobranded RadioShack stores

Sprint (NYSE:S) stores situated inside 1,435 RadioShack locations opened today, April 10, more than doubling the wireless provider's physical footprint.

The new stores are part of the deal reached in RadioShack's (NYSE:RSH) recent bankruptcy auction, in which the retailer was acquired by hedge fund Standard General. Sprint's new in-store locations are part of the wireless service provider's plan to increase customer touchpoints and exposure for its leasing programs, unlimited plans and Virgin Mobile pre-paid offerings.

While these cobranded stores may represent another mark on the headstone of RadioShack's former incarnation, they also represent a growth spurt for Sprint, which more than doubled its store base from 1,100 company-owned stores through the new RadioShack deal. Sprint is now positioned to better compete with AT&T and its more than 2,000 locations, as well as T-Mobile and Verizon.

"Our new products and services are resonating with customers and they're coming to our stores to switch to Sprint through our Cut Your Bill in Half offer, take advantage of our industry-first leasing plans, and shop for new devices," said Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. "Customers value the ability to walk into a Sprint store near where they live and work, so we're providing additional locations to make it easier and more convenient for them to do business with us."

"Sprint now has many more storefronts to sell wireless devices from and that is very important to the growth of its business," said industry analyst Jeff Kagan in a statement. "It gives them the ability to reach more customers, more quickly, from coast to coast."

Sprint plans to sell not only mobile devices and services, but RadioShack products and accessories as well. The process of transforming RadioShack stores, as well as the customer experience, as part of the new store-within-a-store concept will roll out in the next several months as storefronts are cobranded with the appropriate signage and marketing materials.

However, RadioShack's future remains anything but clear. The retailer was saved from liquidation by hedge fund Standard General after filing a pre-packaged Chapter 11. Standard General has taken over 1,700 RadioShack stores, and Soohyung Kin, the financier who oversaw the retailer's overhead reduction, has laid out a preliminary roadmap for the chain as it embarks on a new life as an electronics convenience store.
For more:
-See this Sprint announcement
-See this FierceWireless story

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