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GameStop acquires 507 AT&T mobile stores

Game retailer steps up diversification efforts, increases cell phone storefronts by 45%

With the retail games industry treading water over the past few years, GameStop is continuing efforts to find growth and increased financial security in ancillary markets. The latest of those diversification efforts came today as the company announced the acquisition of three AT&T retailer chains: Cellular World Corp., Midwest Cellular, Inc., and Red Skye Wireless, Inc.

Between the three companies, GameStop is adding 507 stores to its Technology Brands division, which also includes Spring Mobile and Simply Mac Apple product and repair stores. The additional storefronts will increase the number of GameStop's AT&T Mobility stores by 55%, up to 1,421. For comparison, GameStop operates more than 7,000 gaming retail locations.

GameStop first entered the mobile phone business in 2013 with the acquisition of Spring Mobile. Last year, mobile and consumer electronics made up 7% of the company's revenues, up from 5.6% the year before.

The company has set a goal of generating $200 million in operating earnings from the Technology Brands segment by the end of 2009. Last year, the whole of GameStop generated $648.2 million in operating earnings on sales of nearly $9.4 billion.

The company's emphasis on diversification is reflected in how it bills itself. When GameStop first embarked on these diversification efforts, it referred to itself as "the world's largest multichannel video game retailer." But with the expansion into mobile, Apple sales, and last year's acquisition of collectibles retailer ThinkGeek, GameStop now sees its purpose as "a global, omnichannel video game, consumer electronics and wireless services retailer."

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