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AT&T'S GO PHONE DIALS UP PLANS FOR SUPERMARKET SALES

By Published on .

AT&T Wireless, currently selling its Go Phone-a cellular phone in a box with accessories and an activation number-throughout the Western U.S., plans a national rollout in supermarket chains and warehouse clubs by yearend.

The company is said to be in discussions with Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., Pathmark and Shop Rite to carry the Go Phone nationally.

MORE RETAIL OPPORTUNITIES

"There's no reason why cellular products shouldn't be sold in broader retail outlets," said Neve Savage, VP-marketing for AT&T Wireless. "Both today and in preparation for the arrival of PCS [personal communication services], we're focused on making our products very accessible to the consumer."

NOW IN THE WEST

AT&T has been marketing the Go Phone brand aggressively in the West, with TV, print and radio advertising, direct-response TV, direct mail and point-of-purchase materials. McCann-Erickson Worldwide, San Francisco, handles AT&T Wireless' estimated $40 million account.

In addition to those markets, Cub Foods stores, Mail Boxes Etc. and a handful of university bookstores already carry the AT&T Go Phone in certain areas in the West.

"Go Phone advertising is designed to do everything, from brand advertising right down to hard-working retailing and direct sales," said Penny Baldwin, senior VP-group director at McCann. "We've got the twin tasks of building the brand and driving business at the same time."

PACKAGE GOODS ROUTE

Traditionally sold in electronics stores or company-branded retail outlets, communication services and products are expected to be sold in as many outlets as most other package goods.

"Consumers have come to the point where they cross distribution channels for all goods and services," Ms. Baldwin said. "We absolutely have to be where the consumer is."

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