When Radio Shack announced Monday that it will begin selling Apple's iPhone in its stores, the nation's second largest electronics quickly realized just how significant it is to be selected to sell the iconic mobile phone: its stock rocketed.
The retailer said it will begin selling the iPhone this month in the New York City and Dallas/Fort Worth areas. Sales of the iPhone are scheduled to begin nationwide in Radio Shack's stores next year.
The company has been aggressively moving to sell mobile phones in recent months. Last summer Radio Shack, which is changing its name to "The Shack", added T-Mobile to its lineup of mobile phones. The company, which has 4,000 stores, also sells various AT&T mobile products as well as Verizon Wireless products in its kiosks in Sam's Club membership warehouses. The retail chain said it will begin selling both the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 3GS.
The decision to offer the iPhone may help Radio Shack shed its image as a supplier of electronics parts and drive it toward a place in consumers' minds as a provider of more advanced consumer goods.
"You will see a real focus on mobility and wireless products from leading brands in our new advertising," said Lee Applebaum, Radio Shack's chief marketing officer, last summer as the company unveiled its new image. "We have tremendous equity in consumers' minds around cables, parts, and batteries, but it's critically important that we help them to understand the role that we play in keeping people connected in this highly mobile world."
Radio Shack's stock jumped 14% on news of the iPhone deal Monday.
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