On Tuesday, GameStop Corp. announced that it had spent $475 million to buy 507 of AT&T's retail stores around the country. These locations are in 36 states and were acquired from national AT&T retailers, which include Midwest Cellular, Red Skye Wireless and Cellular World Corp. GameStop hasn't made the actual price of these stores public, but an executive at GameStop said that "the bulk" amounted to about $475 million. GameStop is already the largest retail distributor of Cricket Wireless. They are currently selling their products and services in about 3,400 GameStop locations throughout the country. This purchase adds on to GameStop's position as the biggest authorized retailer for AT&T. GameStop actually owns 1,421 AT&T Mobility stores nationwide.
When speaking about the purchase, GameStop's CEO, Paul Raines stated that "today's announcement showcases the strength of our relationship with AT&T and fortifies our diversification efforts. With the continued investments in our Technology Brands business, we are on track to achieve our goal of generating $200 million of operating earnings in this growing segment by the end of 2019." GameStop, has increasingly been offering more than just video games at their stores. They actually became a phone retailer back in 2013, and it appears that they are wanting to continue growing that area of their business.
Meanwhile, wireless carriers are looking for ways to target both postpaid and prepaid customers at retail stores around the country. T-Mobile and Sprint have both been looking to expand their retail presence and have their retail stores available in more and more neighborhoods. T-Mobile has been expanding while they are putting up more and more coverage nationwide. Sprint, recently announced that they were working Dixons Carphone to open up 500 retail stores nationwide.
GameStop may be a somewhat puzzling name, to be picking up over 500 stores from AT&T, but given their history, it shouldn't be too surprising. Now, while GameStop stores don't typically have the latest and greatest smartphones, they do have a few, especially for those on Cricket. Which is increasingly becoming a popular name in the prepaid space, challenging the likes of MetroPCS, Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile. Who are currently the top names in prepaid.