In short: AT&T is planning to open 1,000 new stores across the United States, the Dallas, Texas-based company announced this week, having proclaimed “retail is not dead.” The move will see the telecom giant expand its physical footprint in the country by nearly 20-percent seeing how it already operates some 5,300 stateside locations. While the majority of the company’s customers starts their purchases online, the network operator still sees massive value in brick-and-mortar locations and plans to continue using them as venues for fulfilling a broad range of consumer needs in a swift manner. Not all of the firm’s new stores will be identical and many may end up evolving over time depending on a number of factors, as explained in the below video.
Background: The move is an evolution of AT&T’s retail strategy that has recently been consolidating a wide variety of products and services, from mobile connectivity and Internet TV to offerings from entertainment giant Time Warner the firm managed to purchase earlier this year following a legal battle with the Department of Justice. Pop-up stores are also encompassed by the new strategy, with AT&T now doubling down on them, having confirmed 100 such new locations will be added to its distribution network by the end of the year.
Impact: Besides being a major vote of confidence for brick-and-mortar retail, AT&T’s latest move also relieves some pressure the company has been facing due to its outsourcing practices and contracts. Communications Workers of America, the largest wireless union in the country, has been campaigning against some of AT&T’s business practices for over a year now, trying to win better contracts for its members and repeatedly calling for the network operator to create more “good U.S. jobs,” which is precisely what the company now promised to do, even though it hasn’t directly related its announcement to any external forces.
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