Bell Canada Enterprises, about three months removed from a cancelled sale to private investors, is acquiring 750 The Source retail electronics stores in Canada from Circuit City, the failing U.S. retailer. A purchase price was not announced, but RBS Securities analyst Jonathan Allen apparently speculated for The Toronto Globe and Mail that the stores are going for between $50 million and $100 million.
It's an interesting move that is being observed as a quicker and less expensive way for Bell Canada to expand its retail presence than building and opening its own stores. Is it a game-changing move for BCE? Internet and wireless devices and service already are offered through the stores, but it will be interesting to see if BCE begins to emphasize the stores as outlets for enterprise and residential technical support services as well.
- The Globe and Mail Streetwise Blog has this post
BCE chief George Cope is seen as a game-changer
The acquisition of BCE fell apart in December