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Clearwire Confirms Change in Retail Strategy

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Mar 23, 2011, 1:12 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

Clearwire has confirmed a February report from the Wall Street Journal that suggested it was planning to drop its retail stores. Speaking in a quarterly earnings call, Clearwire CFO Hope Cochran said, "There could be a change within the retail strategy, meaning that, as we look at different distribution channels, we want them to be as efficient as possible, so you'll see changes in how we approach the retail markets. If we're seeing things that aren't working financially, we might pull back in those areas. The net adds from that (the retail) channel won't continue to grow at the trajectory that we saw them grow in 2010. We're purposely making sure that we hit that nice balance between the acquisition cost versus the number of acquisitions coming in." Cochran noted that Clearwire wants to sign up as many new customers as possible, but doing so through the operation of retail stores is costly.

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