WalMart has expanded its telecom services product line again. You can now add AT&T’s U-verse service to Wal-Mart’s growing portfolio of broadband and telecom service offerings. AT&T announced the move on Monday, which also includes Circuit City as a retail channel for U-verse. Six hundred WalMart and Circuit City locations near U-verse deployments will retail AT&T’s services in Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin. “We’re excited to add AT&T U-verse to the list of must-have items that consumers can get from these leading retailers. Our services are the perfect fit to accompany and enhance customers’ purchases,” said Glenn Lurie, president, National Distribution, AT&T in a company statement.
AT&T joins other triple play providers marketing their services at third party retail channels, taking note from the success of wireless retail strategies at these same stores. Most large MSOs already have retail relationships for their triple play offerings. AT&T has already been selling phone and DSL services at these locations. On the surface, these retail relationships make good sense. No better time to try to upsell IPTV and broadband, than when a customer is purchasing a new HDTV or computer. That being said, these triple play retail strategies have yet to prove their effectiveness. If AT&T can find a fraction of the success with U-verse that they find with third party wireless retail strategies, it will be well worth it. Certainly not an apples to apples comparison, but maybe it won’t be long before triple play service providers subsidize HDTV and computer purchases in retail stores to sell triple play bundles, much the same way they do with wireless devices today.