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RIKEEM WILBURN'S MINI EMPIRE: METRO PCS


Rikeem Wilburn is a true Market entrepreneur, with five Metro PCS stores in the Delaware area, including his flagship location at 717 Market. That’s where he began his mini empire almost 12 years ago. But the story doesn’t really start there. It starts in Atlanta, where … well, we’ll let him tell it:

“I'm a Philadelphia native, but my dad is from Atlanta. I used to visit the guy in the summer and I grew love for Atlanta, and I grew love for entrepreneurship. He had a dump truck company. I was about 15 years old and I would work with him through the summers. For us, you know, black ownership is a big thing. I never saw that in South Philly. I never saw guys who could call their own shots, working together.”

“So I went back to Philly, completed my last two years of high school, and I was outta there. I moved to Atlanta in 1994 to start my own dump truck company. It was cool, but very demanding. So I was looking for the next big thing, and like a thief in the night, Metro PCS stores hit the Atlanta market. You just woke up one day and you saw all these stores and thought: ‘Where did they come from?’ And they were making a ton of money. So I went to human resources from Metro and I asked him, where are you guys going next? They said, well, we're slated to go to turn on the Philadelphia market in 2008. And man, it was worth moving back.”

“Metro PCS gave me the territory in downtown Wilmington. And Market Street has been a blessing to me. It has been a blessing from the beginning, a blessing all the way to now.”

“The first day I opened, I sold seven phones. The first day. And I didn't even know what I was doing. I'm telling you, and I was barely open. I didn't have the right furniture in place, the right fixtures ... all I could do is activate. And people just poured into the store.”

“It put me in a position to get to where I am now, with five stores. Metro came to me in 2013 and asked me if I wanted to launch the Dover market. I figured, okay, I'll take the chance because I'll kind of be Gilligan with his own little island down there. The first nine months were tough, but another dealer told me – and now I would give this advice to anyone – he said, stay with it. Just stay with it. I guarantee you, it's going to turn around. And it did.”

“I'm excited about what's happening in downtown Wilmington. If you're familiar with the change that's happening on Market Street, you know we appear to be a permanent fixture. But you have to be willing to adjust with the times. We have a product that is attractive to all people. Remember what we went through at the start of the computer era when people said, ‘I don't want to get on the computer!’ And now you see your Grandma and she's got an iPhone and she's on Facetime with you. This is the time to adapt.”

“Last year, I started a 10-year anniversary event, a brunch on the first of the month. We had kids out with food and balloons. Metro corporate came down and had some giveaways. And I fed a hundred of my first bill-paying customers with shrimp and grits and all kinds of stuff. Now it's my annual brunch, a customer appreciation day, coming up on July 1.”

#MetroPCS #RikeemWilburn #NewMarketWilm #meet #Meet #downtownwilmington #WilmingtonDelaware #MarketStreetWilmington

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North Market Street | Wilmington, DE

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