Just after a recent Wal-Mart announcement about a broadband reseller arrangement through HughesNet, Wal-Mart and Charter just announced a partnership to offer Charter’s triple play services throughout 700 Wal-Mart stores. The Wal-Mart stores that offer Charter’s triple play bundle will cover 93% of Charter’s footprint. Including the Wal-Mart store additions, Charter will now have a retail presence in over 1,000 storefronts.
Wal-Mart joins a host of retailers including Best Buy and Circuit City who have partnered to market triple play services. The Wal-Mart move is of particular interest because they sell more HDTVs than any retailer. Having an HDTV source to sell along side the HDTV at the point of purchase creates a significant opportunity for both Wal-Mart and Charter. “As Wal-Mart is expanding its offerings of high-definition televisions, computers and other products, we hope to compliment the customer’s purchase with our services. For example, many consumers are unaware when they buy an HDTV, a high-definition source is also required in order to realize the full high-definition experience. In this case, Charter is the source that completes the product offering,” said Jeff Cox, Vice President of Sales Channels for Charter. The accompanying services of broadband and telephone create additional upselling opportunities. It will be interesting to see if Charter places sales reps inside Wal-Mart stores. Such a move could impact the sales process significantly. Wireless service providers have long placed their sales reps inside their partner retail stores, and have been quite successful with it.