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Sprint and its prepaid brands which include both Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile have dramatically altered their presence in retail over the past year. Sprint exited Target in March of 2019. Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile left the store in the middle of 2018 and Boost Mobile also exited Dollar General sometime in 2018. This past April, the prepaid brands were pulled from Best Buy. Now, Wave7 Research reports that Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile have left Meijer. The brands disappeared from store shelves in May. Meijer is a family-owned superstore throughout the midwest with over 240 locations.
Despite those failures, Sprint has continued to look for growth elsewhere in retail. Wave7 Research noted that Sprint began testing its "store within a store" concept several months ago in a Florida Walgreens in the city of Gainesville. The trial has since expanded to include more locations that now encompass 80+ stores in both Dallas and Chicago.
Last summer, Sprint Chairmen Marcelo Claure tweeted that Sprint had expanded into 700 Walmart stores. Wave7 Research said that represented a doubling of the number of Walmart's that carry the brand.
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— MarceloClaure (@marceloclaure) July 27, 2018
Boost Mobile is also testing out what it calls a "Custom 4.0 store-in-store" concept at Fresco y Mas. Fresco y Mas is a grocery store with 26 locations in Florida. The brand is owned by one of the largest conventional supermarket companies in the USA, Southeastern Grocers Inc. It is unknown how many of the 26 Fresco y Mas locations are trialing the concept.
Justin Neffgen, a Prepaid Indirect Sales Manager at Sprint announced the launch of the first Boost Mobile store-in-store Fresco y Mas trial on May 22nd. Neffgen said it is the first of many store-in-store concept locations.
Grand Opening Day for our 1st or many @boostmobile Custom 4.0 “Store In Store” concept locations! Already seeing great traction inside the @frescoymas w/ @kscullspg diving into the action! Congrats CXP Telecom team! @Dk1team1dream @JayMiglionico @mschwager3 pic.twitter.com/7WUlX4TV5F
— Justin Neffgen (@NEFFGEN) May 22, 2019
One other interesting to note in all of this is that Sprint no longer appears to be exerting much effort to support the Virgin Mobile brand. Virgin Mobile has been pulled from many stores, and the company laid off the majority of its workforce last summer. BestMVNO has not observed any major promotions from the brand dating back to last year. Meanwhile, Boost Mobile has remained active with promotions and has been constantly competing against Metro By T-Mobile.
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