Sprint and Dixon's Carphone Warehouse have announced a new partnership, pairing the US carrier with the European retailer. It's expected this deal will accelerate Sprint's retail transformation, an effort to increase the number of retail stores dedicated to pushing out hardware and wireless plans.

The two parties will launch 20 new stores in the US, which will be operated by Carphone Warehouse in a similar fashion to third-party retailers who already run Sprint-branded stores across the country. The carrier will own and staff the pilot stores, but Carphone Warehouse will effectively manage them.

If the initial pilot of 20 stores are successful, the two companies will launch a number of new retail locations, offering an enhanced consumer experience working off the expertise Dixons has from its established European markets.

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), July 02, 2015 - Sprint (NYSE:S) and Dixons Carphone today announced a commercial relationship that pairs Sprint with a premier European consumer electronics retailer renowned for innovation in wireless retail sales. The relationship is expected to accelerate Sprint's retail transformation, and is the latest inventive move to grow its number of retail stores.

As part of the arrangement, in coming months Sprint will work closely with Dixons Carphone Connected World Services (CWS) division on a pilot program to build and operate about 20 new Sprint stores in select U.S. markets. These Sprint stores will operate similarly to the third-party retailers who operate Sprint-branded wireless stores across the U.S. Sprint will own and staff the stores while CWS will manage them. CWS will also apply its expertise and best practices across all of Sprint's sales channels.

Dixons Carphone is Europe's leading specialist electrical and telecommunications retailer and services company and is recognized as a global retail innovator with world-class retail expertise. In a former joint venture with Best Buy, the company helped launch Best Buy Mobile.

This agreement is the latest in Sprint's strategy to expand its distribution and provide shoppers with a better customer experience. Earlier this year, Sprint quickly and cost-effectively doubled the number of corporate-owned stores by opening Sprint at RadioShack in 1,435 locations, which are currently undergoing renovation. Sprint has also launched Direct 2 You, a one-of-a-kind service that brings a personalized sales experience directly to customers whenever and wherever they want – for free.

"Sprint is going to offer customers a greatly enhanced experience in buying wireless products and services," said Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. "We are partnering with the world's leading wireless retailer to improve the customer experience in our stores. Dixons Carphone has the expertise and capabilities to accelerate this important part of our transformation journey."

"We are delighted to be working with Sprint and to be a part of a transformation in their business that is already making impressive headway," said Andrew Harrison, Dixons Carphone Deputy Group Chief Executive and CEO of CWS. "This is a very exciting venture for us, and is a significant step in growing our CWS business in the US. We bring specialist knowledge and skills to this relationship and will be looking to deliver innovation and outstanding customer service under the Sprint brand."

If the pilot stores prove to be successful Sprint and Dixons Carphone will establish a joint venture to open and operate a substantial number of new Sprint-branded stores across the U.S. The two companies will equally fund the start-up costs of the joint venture and each will initially have 50 percent ownership interest.