ACS closes Soldotna store

  • By DAN BALMER
  • Thursday, November 13, 2014 10:13pm
  • News

The Alaska Communications retail store in Soldotna will be closing its doors Friday as the company looks to combine staff to its Kenai location.

All employees from the Soldotna location on Warehouse Drive will transfer to Kenai store on the Kenai Spur Highway. The added staff capacity allows ACS to open on Sundays in Kenai and provide staff service for customers throughout the week, said Heather Cavanaugh, ACS Director of Marketing.

Cavanaugh said the decision to close the Soldotna retail store wouldn’t impact customer’s services. Local technicians will still install ACS products in Soldotna.

The Soldotna Radio Shack on the Kenai Spur Highway will continue as an ACS authorized agent that provides consumer wireless sales and services. Radio Shack is open Monday through Saturday.

“We are closing the (Soldotna) store because we found that with our agent locations on the Kenai Peninsula, we did not need two stores,” she said. “Our business sales and service teams continue to call on customers locally, helping them find the communications solutions that fit them best.”

The ACS warehouse in Soldotna will remain open. The excess retail space in the building will be turned into office space, Cavanaugh said.

The Kenai ACS location opened in 2011. The 2,647-square-foot store features an interactive experience for customers with mobile broadband test stations. Inside, customers can experience live videoconferencing demonstrations and pay bills on a self-pay kiosk.

The Kenai store will now be open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

ACS, Alaska’s first telecommunications company, is a provider of broadband and wireless internet with operations from data networks and fiber optic system that connect Alaska to the Lower 48.

The company has faced increased competition in recent years.

Verizon’s recent rollout to the Alaska market, along with national chain AT&T have lessened its foothold in Alaska.

After eight years of declining revenue and debt, ACS decided to merge with General Communications Inc. in 2013 and combine its infrastructure into the Alaska Wireless Network.

In March, ACS reported a $15.7 million decrease in fourth quarter revenue compared to the prior year, which the company attributed to the Alaska Wireless Network transition, according to an Alaska Journal of Commerce article.

Cavanaugh said the company has focused its business growth in broadband internet services and have made investments to be the leading broadband provider.

The investments made into its network and information technology solutions department are to capture the potential in the growing IT market.

As a result broadband growth helped the ACS reduce its debt and the company saw 19 percent fourth quarter growth year-over-year for business revenue and up 15 percent for consumer revenue, according the Journal article.

ACS released its third-quarter finances earlier this month and predicts more than $300 million in expected revenue for 2014 and a $92 million in net profit this year.

“We are working to make consumer and business communications on the Peninsula world class,” Cavanaugh said.

Reach Dan Balmer at daniel.balmer@peninsulaclarion.com

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