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RadioShack Rebuilding Verizon Ties

9/29/2009 02:42:33 PM Eastern

Fort Worth, Texas - RadioShack is forging renewed ties with Verizon.

Four years after ending a five-year relationship with the carrier, the CE chain said it will begin offering Verizon handsets and services in about 450 wireless kiosks that it operates for Sam's Club nationwide.

The new deal goes into effect Oct. 1.

"With the addition of Verizon to our kiosk operations, we've established important relationships with all four major wireless carriers in the United States," said RadioShack chairman/CEO Julian Day. "Our goal is to deliver the best choices and outstanding service to Sam's Club members. As consumers' wireless decisions become more complex, we're prepared to help them sort out the best choice to stay connected on the go."

The partners ended their relationship in 2005 after contract renewal negotiations failed to produce a new agreement. RadioShack ultimately signed with Cingular and renewed with Sprint PCS, where it obtained more favorable terms and a more significant role in the carriers' distribution strategies.

The retailer currently carries AT&T, Sprint Nextel and Verizon's Alltel unit in its stores, and added T-Mobile to the lineup last month.

RadioShack's current management team is reportedly eager to bring Verizon back into the fold as it faces growing competition from Best Buy's mobile partnership with Carphone Warehouse. Verizon is the largest U.S. wireless carrier with about 80 million subscribers.

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