Carrie Rengers

Local group opening several new MetroPCS stores

MetroPCS employees put up their new sign in July as they take over the old Fresh Florist space in College Hill Plaza.
MetroPCS employees put up their new sign in July as they take over the old Fresh Florist space in College Hill Plaza. File photo

Most of the new MetroPCS stores popping up around the Wichita area are owned by companies based elsewhere, but some of them are locally owned by the same owners of MobileComm.

“We kind of got lucky because they weren’t actually going to have a local partner,” says MobileComm owner Hamid Bakhtiari, whose mother, Susan Baird, is a minority partner.

“They actually approached me about it,” Hamid Bakhtiari says.

MobileComm is a past T-Mobile prepaid dealer. The T-Mobile program converted to a MetroPCS one – the company sells prepaid and post-paid wireless services – which is how MobileComm got involved.

Bakhtiari will have six MetroPCS stores and carry the company’s product line in his MobileComm stores.

Two of his MetroPCS sites are already open at 328 E. Pawnee, which is near Pawnee and Broadway, and 3116 E. Harry, which is near Harry and Hillside.

Bakhtiari says he signed leases for those stores on June 1 and June 6 and had to have them open by June 23.

“They move crazy fast,” he says of MetroPCS.

Indeed, the chain only entered the Wichita market in late June and already has 24 stores open, including Bakhtiari’s locations and the MetroPCS product lines he has in his MobileComm stores.

Bakhtiari will open another MetroPCS at the northeast corner of Pawnee and Seneca by the end of this month.

“We’re looking at Harry and Rock, 21st and Woodlawn and Central and Ridge,” Bakhtiari says.

There are still a few MetroPCS stores that will be opening under other ownership as well.

Bakhtiari says he’s been opening the MetroPCS stores while simultaneously opening his seventh MobileComm store, which is in Hutchinson.

It’s been a challenge “just trying to stay on top of it.”

He says it’s also worth it.

“It’s really driving business,” Bakhtiari says of MetroPCS.

“It’s a really super-value product. They’re so competitive on price.”

Look for the rest of Bakhtiari’s MetroPCS stores to open within the next two months.

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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