Wireless service provider T-Mobile announced Thursday an ambitious plan to expand its islandwide sales network and redesign its Puerto Rico stores and service centers based on a customer-centric vision, all to the tune of $7 million.
The investment will result in completely overhauled stores and kiosks, and the creation of 150 new direct jobs that will be added to the carrier’s current employee base of about 800 people, said company General Manager Jorge Martel.
“T-Mobile is experiencing its most solid period, investing, innovating and expanding to continue growing and serving our customers while contributing to the local economy,” he said, noting that the investments are the direct result of the $4 billion windfall parent company Deutsche Telekom received from AT&T earlier this year after their botched attempt to merge.
T-Mobile’s expansion plan includes making over its 40 stores throughout the island, as well as the addition of new customer service centers in Trujillo Alto, Caguas and San Germán. All stores and kiosks should be completely overhauled by Nov. 10, in time for the busy holiday shopping season.
The investment for this project is in addition to the $75 million the company invested recently in the expansion and modernization of its HSPA +42 network and the upcoming implementation of a next-generation Long-Term Evolution digital platform and the recent launch of the only unlimited, islandwide 4G Internet plan.
The plan also calls for adding more kiosks and authorized dealers to its network, and establishing presence for the first time in, Office Depot and CVS, which are in addition to the relationships T-Mobile already has locked down with Sam’s, Walmart, Costco, Toys R Us, Best Buy and Sears.
“Our distribution network has been redesigned and expanded to offer our services and equipment in more locations throughout Puerto Rico, bringing it up to speed with our expanding 4G coverage throughout the island,” said Wency Baerga, vice president of sales for T-Mobile.
‘Most ambitious expansion’
“This is the most ambitious expansion that T-Mobile has made in its distribution network since since our arrival in 1999,” she added.
The redesign of T-Mobile’s local stores follows the model set forth by Deutsche Telekom in Europe, with adjustments to meet the needs of Puerto Rican consumers, she said.
“These changes aren’t just cosmetic, but rather represent a functional change where the customer will be able to experiment with the robust variety of equipment, services and accessories that T-Mobile offers,” Baerga said.
“Puerto Rico’s redesign is also being used as a model for T-Mobile’s Hispanic markets in the United States,” Baerga said, referring to the modern open floor plan design that incorporates natural wood, bright lighting elements and colors, and technology to showcase products and services.
Martel said the company is already reaping the results of the investment, with a 20 percent sales increase and a 25 percent growth in accessory sales at the 10 stores already featuring the redesign.
“The customer’s experience changes into a more interactive one and this definitely is positively impacting our sales,” he said.