Rogers Partners with Shoppers Drug Mart

by Jordan Richardson on April 20, 2010

Rogers Communications Inc. is partnering with Shoppers Drug Mart in what is being called a pilot distribution deal. This means that Rogers and its Fido discount brand will start selling cell phones and smart phones at more than 30 stores.

Rob Bruce, president of Rogers, said that “Customers are telling us they want more choice for where they acquire Rogers and Fido products and services in their own neighbourhoods.”

The press release didn’t disclose where the Toronto-based communications company was going to start working with Shoppers just yet, but word around the campfire is that it will take place in a “key regional area.” There are plans to branch out to the other 1,800 or so stores across Canada should this pilot project lead to a larger distribution deal.

Telus and Bell have also been checking out options for retail opportunities as of late. Telus acquired Black’s, a photo retailer, while Bell bought electronics chain The Source in March of 2009. These sorts of retail connections are par for the course as Canada’s Big Three continue to assert themselves with the threat of “competition” ever looming.

Rogers is doing everything it can to cement its presence in Ontario, as competition from the upstarts WIND Mobile and Public Mobile could provide some pushback. By pairing with Shoppers Drug Mart, Rogers is hoping that even more brand exposure will help matters.

The deal is expected to launch on July 1 of this year with the first Shoppers stores rolling out Rogers and Fido products. HSPA-ready smart phones and Rocket Sticks are expected to be among the most promoted products.

We can probably expect to see more of these distribution deals, too, as companies start to align themselves with retail opportunities. Having exclusive access to a customer base is important, especially with imminent competition, so we can expect to see Rogers, Bell and Telus continue to snap up more opportunities of this sort.

The name of the game is exposure, of course, and with 95% of the market share under the control of the Big Three, it’s hard to believe that any of the big telecom companies will be happy losing their grip on the Canadian consumer. We could be in for a period of some interesting unions and partnerships as the telecommunications landscape continues to evolve.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca >. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com > by: RSS >, Twitter >, Identi.ca >, or Friendfeed >

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