The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal is reporting that
Target plans to outsource its mobile phone operation to RadioShack
Kiosk Operations. Earlier this month, the subsidiary opened kiosks in about 100
Target stores in California, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, Texas,
and Washington. The partners plans to roll out the kiosks to all 1,700 Target
stores sometime next year.
You'll be able to distinguish the Kiosk Operations employees
from Target sales associates by their black shirts, instead of the red shirts
that are typically worn by Target's staff. The kiosks themselves are branded
Bullseye Mobile Solutions.
Target's current prepaid and post-paid wireless offerings
are displayed along a single aisle facing and lacks a dedicated staff. The
kiosks will sell Verizon
service plans as well as various prepaid phones and calling cards. Since these
are the same products and services currently offered by Target, customers
aren't likely to notice a big change.
Although Anthony Chukumba, an analyst for FTN Midwest
Securities Corp., doesn't feel the new mobile phone partnership will make a big
difference for Target in terms of overall results, he still feels it's
important for Target to enhance its presence in the mobile-phone segment. “It’s
something you have to offer to your customer, and if you don’t have the
expertise to do it yourself, it makes sense to outsource it to someone else,”
he said. “RadioShack has more experience with wireless and likely will do a
much better job selling wireless handsets and calling plans than Target would.”