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AT&T To Open 1,000 New Retail Locations In Smaller U.S. Cities

AT&T is swimming against the national tide in retail with an ambitious expansion plan.


The phone and communications giant announced it will open 1,000 new stores across the country in the coming years, Chain Store Age reports. That expansion will include hundreds of stores selling mobile devices in smaller towns and cities in America, contrary to the trend of national retailers largely leaving such areas for safer, more urban markets.

Also part of AT&T's expansion is a push toward opening pop-up stores within apartment and condo buildings and other nontraditional locations within urban centers. The company reportedly is planning to open 100 of those pop-ups this year, which it says can be up and running within 60 days of a lease being signed.

AT&T did not go into detail about how such temporary locations would affect its new store count.

AT&T's announcement comes months after its victory in court that paved the way for it to acquire Time Warner for $85B, while representing another significant capital expenditure. In its expansion announcement, AT&T clarified that the stores will not be uniform, and did not mention any involvement of Time Warner brands or content.

Other retailers pursuing major expansions in the coming years include Amazon, which is reportedly mulling a 3,000-store rollout of its autonomous Amazon Go convenience stores.

If both strategies proceed, it could have a significant impact on retail occupancy across the country.

Related Topics: AT&T, Time Warner, Amazon Go