RadioShack To Run Target's Mobile Phone Operations

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal is reporting that Target plans to outsource its mobile phone operation to RadioShack subsidiary 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 Wireless, T-Mobile, and AT&T phones and 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.”