FORT WORTH, TX and BEDMINSTER, NJ — RadioShack Corporation (NYSE: RSH) and Verizon Wireless announced today a new strategic alliance that brings a national, unified approach to cellular offerings for both companies. Under terms of the agreement, RadioShack stores and participating dealers across the U.S. will be able to market and advertise nationwide rate plans for cellular phone service beginning in November of this year. Verizon Wireless will enhance their national retail presence through a new RadioShack store-within-a-store anticipated for rollout in the summer of 2001.
"Telecommunications is one of the core anchors of our business strategy and we are the leading seller of both PCS and cellular service. This agreement makes RadioShack a strategic distribution channel for cellular services from Verizon Wireless," said Leonard Roberts, Chairman, President and CEO of RadioShack Corporation. "Our alliance with Verizon Wireless enables us to significantly leverage our marketing, advertising and sales efforts, plus it streamlines our training, inventory and distribution operations," stated Roberts.
"There are 100 million U.S. wireless subscribers; Verizon Wireless, as the industry leader, touches 25 million of them," said Denny Strigl, president and chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless. "This agreement is a strategic alignment that leverages the strengths of both companies. Verizon Wireless has immediate access to about 1 million customers a day who walk through the RadioShack doors nationwide."
"RadioShack benefits by offering their customers affordable wireless service that is backed by an industry leader. The combination means customers get coast-to-coast convenience plus quality cellular service backed by the strength of two great organizations," he said.
Initially, Verizon Wireless services will be offered at more than 3,700 RadioShack stores representing most major markets in the country. Prior to this agreement, Verizon Wireless services were offered in only about 40% of the RadioShack chain. RadioShack markets where new Verizon Wireless cellular services will be made available include Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta.
Consumers will benefit from Verizon Wireless' national cellular plans that provide them with more freedom while traveling due to Verizon Wireless' digital technology and coast-to-coast coverage area. Verizon Wireless serves 96 of the top 100 markets nationwide and has such an expansive footprint that, for the most part, customers' calls stay on Verizon Wireless' network. The SingleRate plans offered by Verizon Wireless eliminate roaming or long-distance charges thus effectively making nearly every wireless call a local call.
"The Verizon Wireless alliance offers us cellular products and national services that consumers clearly want today and that will continue to be in demand in the future," Roberts said. "This is the right choice for our business. It enhances our current wireless strategy and will enable us to maintain our leadership position in the wireless category."
RadioShack Corporation is the largest and most trusted consumer electronics retailer in the United States, and offers both on- and off-line shopping convenience. With more than 7,100 stores and dealers, RadioShack sells more wireless telephones, telecommunications products and electronics parts and accessories than any other retailer. It is estimated that 94 percent of Americans live or work within five minutes of a RadioShack store or dealer. For more information, visit the RadioShack web site at www.RadioShack.com.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S., serving more than 25 million voice and data customers and 3.5 million paging customers. The new coast-to-coast company was formed through the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp -- now Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) -- and Vodafone (LSE:VOD); The company, which includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging, is licensed to serve nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population and 96 of the top 100 markets.
Headquartered in New York City and Bedminster, NJ, the company has 30,000 employees. For more information about Verizon Wireless visits its Media Center on the Web.
* * * *Statements made in this press release which are forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and are indicated by words such as "anticipate," "expect," "could," "plans," "goals," and other similar words or phrases. These uncertainties include, but are not limited to, economic conditions, product demand, competitive products and pricing, availability of products, the regulatory environment, real estate market fluctuations and other risks indicated in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission such as RadioShack's most recent Form 10-K and 10-Q.