AT&T replaces Cingular brand in retail stores

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The bouncing "Jack" logo for Cingular Wireless was officially retired after its 1,800 retail wireless stores owned by AT&T Inc., including its Milwaukee-area locations, were rebranded overnight.

San Antonio-based AT&T stepped up the company's rebranding effort to make way for the Apple iPhone launch, which will be powered exclusively by the company's wireless network. AT&T stores will begin selling the Apple iPhone in late June.

All in-store signage, store kiosks and point-of-sale materials at company owned stores have been switched out to the AT&T brand. In addition, key stores in major markets, including San Antonio, also unveiled exterior signs for the new brand. A full transition of the exterior signs will be made at the balance of the stores by September. Retail agent-owned stores should be rebranded by January 2008.

There are about 70 stores in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia that will be rebranded by September, company officials said. About half will be converted in the next month or two.

AT&T officials said they decided to replace the Cingular brand with the AT&T brand based on consumer research that shows that it's brand to be widely known and durable.

Another reason for the store makeover is because the stores no longer just sell wireless products. The AT&T stores market the company's complete line of products, such as high-speed Internet, television and home telephone service.

Cingular had been a joint venture between AT&T and BellSouth Corp. in Atlanta. The two companies merged Dec. 29, 2006, consolidating ownership of Cingular under AT&T, the owner of AT&T Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

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