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Phone store Sprints into CK

Kathleen Fortner, manager of the new Sprint cell phone store at 10600 Silverdale Way, checks a new customer account on a computer at the 1,200-square-foot store that just opened in Silverdale. - Photo by Rogerick Anas
Kathleen Fortner, manager of the new Sprint cell phone store at 10600 Silverdale Way, checks a new customer account on a computer at the 1,200-square-foot store that just opened in Silverdale.
— image credit: Photo by Rogerick Anas

By opening a so-called brick & mortar location in Silverdale, Sprint hopes to make you a customer.

“This is only the third store we’ve opened in Washington and Oregon,” said Jeff Sand, retail sales manager for Sprint in the Northwest. “Sprint (service) has already been in the area more than five years.”

The store, located in Silverdale Square, 10600 Silverdale Way, is small — only about 1,200 square feet — but Sprint officials hope it’ll have a big impact on the area.

It had a “soft” opening a month ago, and will officially have its grand opening Nov. 22.

Sean Alexander, running back for the Seahawks, accepted an invitation to be on hand to meet and greet.

“We’ll be offering $100 ‘instant’ discount based on customer credit. What this will amount to is a free phone for many people,” Sand said. “We can do this because the prices of our phones are dropping as production rises.”

He added that the store will:

l Act as a service center for phones, regardless of where purchased.

l Keep money spent at Sprint local.

l Provide phones that act as ‘modems’ for laptop computers.

l Offer palm computer/phone combos for $400.

l Pay customers to recruit new customers.

In the early 1990s, Sprint started out a long-distance carrier. They then began to produce their own phones as well as both long-distance and local service. Sprint’s Northwest office is in Tacoma. Its national headquarters are in Kansas City, Kan.

Mike Brennan, of Brennan Communications, a spokesman for Sprint, said since 1997 the company’s main battle in this area has been to “build-out (enough) towers to justify a retail location. Because Sprint is so young, we don’t have a ‘legacy’ (wire or fiber optics infrastructure), but now, with our broadcast system, a call to New York is as easy as a call down the street — there are no ‘roaming’ charges” slapped on customers leaving Sprint’s broadcast area.

“We’ve reduced cost to a dime a minute. At that rate, we can take business away from the old networks,” he said.

He and Sand said Sprint covers Kitsap County completely, with 35,000 to 40,000 customers. The company also covers most of the greater Puget Sound area now.

“There are still a few areas hard to reach ... but it’s getting better and better,” said Sand.

Furthermore, within two years, the company will produce small phones with screens that receive nearly ‘TV’-quality images.

“Why build copper or optics when you can get hi-speed broadband wireless” through Sprint? asked Brennan rhetorically. He said digital wireless broadcasting, the Internet and long-distance service will all come together as the wave of the future.

Holiday store hours start Nov. 1 and are 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. The store can be reached at 613-0333.

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