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RadioShack Rebuilding Verizon Ties

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.

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.