Sprint has announced that it will be opening up 64 new stores across New York and New Jersey, resulting in the creation of “a minimum of 300” new employment opportunities in the area. New York City, the Lower Hudson Valley, and Long Island will be getting 43 new stores. The rest of the planned retail expansion will be happening across New Jersey. On top of setting out a number of new stores, the carrier will be adding staff to its existing retail locations. The press release regarding the matter called it Sprint’s “largest expansion in years”. That same press release noted that this massive retail expansion is “only the beginning”, which means that Sprint is likely planning similar expansions in the near future.
Sprint’s push to expand its retail presence comes amid turmoil with RadioShack following the pair’s partnership. Things did not go as well for RadioShack as originally planned, and the company ended up suing Sprint over allegations that the latter used trade secrets that it had acquired through the partnership in order to sink RadioShack and gain control of its retail stores. Though Sprint denies the allegations, it does indeed now have control over a large number of stores that used to be RadioShack locations, and that is a large part of how Sprint has expanded its retail presence with new dedicated stores in the past few years.
Sprint’s retail expansion is not strictly limited to taking over RadioShack stores, of course. The company has seen a number of new franchises pop up recently, including the likes of smaller stands in malls, and multi-carrier wireless stores that opt to carry inventory and offer service from Sprint, along with its prepaid brands, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile. Sprint’s financial woes are not as bad as they have been in recent years, and the company has been freeing up a good amount of cash flow for retail and network expansion thanks to its strategy of selling off its own towers and network equipment, then leasing those back from the buyers at a fairly low rate. The strategy not only nets Sprint a good amount of immediate cash from each tower sale, but also hands over many of the expensive local licensing fees and maintenance costs to the new owners, who are free to use whatever tower capacity and network bands Sprint is not using as they see fit, or lease out that spare capacity.