Apparently Virgin is expanding into the retail business, on there own this time! I feel like if over the next year Virgin can up it's coverage and open more retail stores they'll close the gap between them and contract carriers, as long as they don't change the price....
I'm surprised they are doing this beyond one or two in various large cities. Having their own stores add an unnecessary expense that many people don't want built into their phone bill.
If all it does in the end is add overhead, it is a non-starter.
I hope they do expand, but not there prices. It would be nice to go to Virgins store, they could make it all hip (or at least try)
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What does this say about Boost Mobile's future... This might be the start of combining the brands. Numerous individuals on here have stated the cost savings that can be achieved by folding Boost Mobile into Virgin Mobile. The savings realized by that move can facilitate a national roll-out of Sprint owned Virgin Mobile retail stores. Corporate owned stores make sense for Virgin Mobile since they offer more than just Cell Phone service. Broadband2Go, PayLo, and Assurance Wireless service options can all benefit from properly trained reps offering additional service options and "live" in-person Customer Service. There are still more products and services that will soon be available on Sprint prepaid... Once tablet options, family plans, and business plans become available, prepaid service providers with dedicated local sales and customer support will have an advantage over carriers that lack that level of service. During the early years of Boost Mobile, when it was still an independent mvno of Nextel, they had business to business sales teams and prepaid Business Class service options, the same can be acheived with Virgin Mobile thus expanding into new revenue areas for Sprint's prepaid brand.
Last edited by vmobi; 06-28-2012 at 05:04 PM.
CON-Tracts??? We don't need no stinking contracts!
I'd guess Sprint is just testing the waters, but it is interesting though.
Don't know how related this is but I just saw a boost mobile store pop up in the next city over from me. Never seen oone before.
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As far as the expense goes, remember that whenever you buy a VM phone from Target, Best Buy, etc. the store is taking a big chunk of the profits from the airtime cards and the phones. I suspect that the reason that Radio Shack is so insistent that you buy an airtime card and let them activate the phone is that when they do a new service activation, they get paid a flat fee by Sprint on top of any profits from the airtime and phone.
When you buy at a corporate owned store, the corporation has to pay salaries, rent, etc. but they keep all the profits associated with selling the phone and airtime. It could end up being a wash money-wise, but you still have a staff dedicated to just your products and only your products. You don't risk having a potential new customer go into Radio Shack for a VM plan and phone but getting talked into a competitor's products because the competitor is paying RS employees a $25 commission or bonus for every new activation that week. (Which is what one RS store tried to pull on me.)
Having your own stores that carry your products exclusively doesn't necessarily cost more than paying others to sell your stuff and can help ensure your potential customers become actual customers.
I doubt having Virgin Mobile/Boost stores outside of major areas would be very profitable, though -- for example, our small town certainly sells a decent variety of Boost phones, but certainly not enough to pay for the expenses associated with running a store, even a very very small one.
I also see Sprint stores touting their prepaid options (and insisting they're just as good). Heh. That seems like a wise idea, although nobody's actually implemented it well enough from what I've seen.
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sprint is pushing virgin mobile because of the Richard branson campaign. Richard helps sell iPhones.they are not combining virgin and boost
One way or another, this will add to overhead. The only issue is whether this would also sufficiently contribute to increased revenues.
Virgin Mobile no doubt derives a decent chunk of its bread and butter sales from Radio Shack, Best Buy, and other retailers who sell its phones and services. These retail stores service those customers who for one reason or another choose not to use the online store. If executed correctly, VM stores would increase its B&M customer access on top of what exists and possible offer other products and services that may not be available at those other stores. Equally important is these retail stores would make sense from a business standpoint if Virgin Mobile could increase its brand awareness in America.
But I'd be somewhat concerned about the likelihood of success. Virgin Mobile alone probably doesn't command generous profits it could tap into with little risk. It's always been value-oriented. Its product lineup is diverse, but not wide enough. That is why I could see this plan working out fine if they would at least during the test stage also offer Boost Mobile phones and plans in the VM stores before folding Boost into VM.