By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Wireless Zone, the 270-unit chain of franchised wireless stores, has reorganized its management team and will expand into the Midwest from its East Coast roots with upwards of 130 new stores by July 2008.
To execute the expansion strategy, the Verizon-exclusive business has promoted president Kevin Sinclair to CEO and has given his chief operations title to operations executive VP Mark Asnes.
In addition, Sean Fitzgerald has joined the company in a newly created position of franchise development national VP, and a number of new regional director positions have been added.
The revamped management team will begin tackling the new initiative, dubbed Focus400, this week. The plan calls for Wireless Zone to have 400 stores in operation in 400 business days through an aggressive expansion into Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, plus continued growth in its current Florida, Mid Atlantic and Northeast markets.
"These moves are designed to achieve our maximum potential," Sinclair said in a statement. "Our philosophy is that if you are not growing, your value to your partners and the carrier is diminished, and you lose market share and opportunity. As a company we have grown significantly from where we started, and we know this new expansion push will raise our level of competitiveness as we look to grow nationwide."
Sinclair continued: "The growth of Wireless Zone is important to our franchisees for many reasons, as well. With a network of 400 stores all supporting each other, we will be looked at even more as the premium place to purchase all wireless needs, we will increase our buying power, and we will jointly be more important to the carrier we sell. The bigger we get, the better our product will be."
Founded as The Car Phone Store in 1988 by Russ Weldon and renamed in 1999, the chain, a division of Automotive Technologies, carries wireless handsets and accessories, GPS navigation, wireless data devices, prepaid cellular services, Verizon FIOS, and DIGO — the retailer's exclusive VoIP network.
In other news, Wireless Zone was recently awarded enrollment in Verizon Wireless' premium retailer program, which qualified every franchised location based on sales and customer service.
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