Hardwired for Success: The Ameritel Story
20 years ago it was one store selling pagers; today, T-Mobile’s biggest distributor has 3,500-plus outlets offering wireless services
These are hard times for the retail industry. Many famous chains are already gone, and it gets worse every day. Teen favorite Rue21 just filed for bankruptcy, Michael Kors is closing over 100 stores, and many venerable brands we all recognize may be running out of time.
Somebody forgot to tell Nathan Yanovitch.
Thanks to a gift for sales and an eye for opportunity, this immigrant entrepreneur has propelled his creation, Ameritel, into a retail powerhouse. In fact, every aspiring retailer looking to become a wireless provider may want to talk to his company.
Ameritel is the biggest distributor for T-Mobile and many prepaid and post-paid wireless services, including MetroPCS and Ultra Mobile.
Ameritel’s Business Model
National telecom carriers like T-Mobile typically don’t retail directly to consumers; instead, they license distributors to operate their retail operations. As a result, anyone who wants to open a store that sells wireless products must form a partnership with one of these companies. Ameritel is the biggest distributor for T-Mobile and many prepaid and post-paid wireless services, including MetroPCS and Ultra Mobile.
Actually, the company started 20 years ago as a single store selling beepers and pagers. Today, it has 3,500-plus dealer partners nationwide—the company invests heavily in each partner—and by the end of June it will have a combined retail footprint of:
- 155 corporate T-Mobile stores
- 125 MetroPCS Exclusive stores.
In this tough retail climate, Ameritel will have opened 145-plus new retail locations between January 1 and June 30 of this year alone.
Nathan Yanovitch’s Story
Mr. Yanovitch’s own story is just as interesting. He was born and lived in Israel until his father determined that the family’s future belonged in America. So the future business star was whisked out of school one day and brought to Queens, New York. This was back in the ’70s, and as with many new immigrants, it was tough—his father, who spoke little English, worked as a building supervisor while his mother cleaned houses.
Young Nathan worked a series of odd jobs in lieu of high school, and eventually became a baker. Oddly, that led him to a job in Helsinki, Finland—just down the road from Nokia, then the giant of the wireless industry. (Years later, as a telecom leader, he would visit those very same facilities.) Then, early in the ’90s, the pastry chef opted for a more lucrative job with a telecom outlet that paid only commissions—which worked out fine.
Ameritel has 3,500-plus dealer partners nationwide
T-Mobile – A Growing Industry Leader
“I found I had a talent for sales,” Mr. Yanovitch says in a definite understatement. Before long he was able to put together funding for that first store, and hasn’t looked back since.
“Our dealers come from Pakistan, India, China, Taiwan, Korea, the Middle East—all over the world”
This dynamic entrepreneur didn’t get where he is by having false illusions. “Companies like Amazon have changed the American retail landscape forever,” he acknowledges. “That’s why you need to align yourself with the right brand, and T-Mobile is that brand.” Indeed, the telecom giant is on its own rapid trajectory: It added 1.1 million customers in Q1 2017, the 16th straight quarter with 1 million-plus net customer additions.
“You need to align yourself with the right brand, and T-Mobile is that brand.”
Of course, there’s more to it. “You have to be agile, you have to always improve the quality of delivery, and you have to create a great customer experience,” Mr. Yanovitch says. He notes that wireless stores have been a savior to malls—they draw foot traffic that helps other outlets. And many of his partners are immigrants too. “Our dealers come from Pakistan, India, China, Taiwan, Korea, the Middle East—all over the world,” he adds.
T-Mobile is on its own rapid trajectory: It added 1.1 million customers in Q1 2017, the 16th straight quarter with 1 million-plus net customer additions.
Retail has always had great appeal in immigrant communities, and many dealers join Ameritel after gaining experience in related markets, like convenience stores. In this context Ameritel makes for an ideal partner. Its long list of contributions includes:
- Real estate assistance (location search, negotiations, help with the lease, and even deposits)
- New hire training
- Ongoing business development training over 20 days a month
- Recruitment assistance
- In conjunction with T-Mobile, new-store-opening ads and marketing support of up to $45,000 a month.
In fact, Ameritel invests around $125,000 overall in each location—the gold standard for this industry. Meanwhile, each new dealer puts in approximately $100,000: half for the store buildout, and half for working capital. Stores are typically up and running in one to three months, and become cash-flow positive after six months. Many reach profitability in a year.
The Right Brand For Every Market
Ameritel doesn’t have just one offering. From T-Mobile Exclusive to the pre-paid options of MetroPCS Exclusive, the company helps new dealers match the programs to the market and the dealer’s own skill sets. The nature of ownership in each store may vary, but the customer will never know—all operations are fully integrated with corporate, and the uniform and excellent service are always the same.
Multiple Revenue Channels
Ameritel Dealers generate revenue through multiple sales channels:
- Activation commission
- Accessory Sales
- Bill payments
There’s now an Ameritel outlet within 10 miles of 230 million Americans, and the number keeps rising. It’s easy to be concerned about the future of retail, but Ameritel’s network offers great hope.
Reasons to Open an Exclusive Ameritel T-Mobile Store
Ameritel’s exclusive dealers are constantly in the Top 10 on the Nationwide ranking among all other T-Mobile TPR stores. Ameritel offers:
• Over 20 years of wireless experience as a wireless master agent
• Dedicated field reps supporting Ameritel’s dealers
• A dedicated training team for dealers
• Consignment inventory benefits over $70,000 inventory at NO cost to Ameritel’s dealers.
Ameritel is looking for New Dealers – Find out More Here
To be a part of the T-Mobile Premier Retailer Program retailers have the following qualifications:
• Have strong financial capabilities to open one or more locations
• Have a minimum $100k in liquid capital and $150k in net worth
• Show a commitment to consistent execution of a brand promise and store operation
• Can develop a business and marketing plan
• Possess a market-specific growth target over a specific time frame
NYC – Corporate Office & National Logistics
250 47th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11220