Verizon Wireless Opens New Retail Location at Northwoods Mall in Peoria

PEORIA, IL — In an effort to provide more accessible and convenient service to a broader customer base, Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless communications provider, will open its newest retail location in Peoria with a new communications kiosk at Northwoods Mall, 4501 War Memorial Drive.

The new Verizon Wireless kiosk officially opens November 2 and marks yet another step toward the company's goal of attracting and serving the area's young consumers. The new location brings the number of Verizon Wireless retail outlets in Peoria to three, 12 throughout Central Illinois.

Kiosks, or inter-mall sales carts, serve as compact stores that offer the same products and high level of customer sales support as traditional stores. Kiosks, however, allow shoppers to take care of their wireless service purchasing needs at the same time they shop for other life necessities and luxuries.

The new kiosk will feature Verizon Wireless' full array of products and pricing plans, including a special new service package, called [FREEUP], which is designed for customers 16 to 24 years old. The number of late teens and young adults subscribing to wireless service is expected to grow from more than 11 million in 2000 to more than 30 million in 2004.

[FREEUP] is the first nationwide wireless service in the country to offer both voice calls and short text messaging on a prepaid service. The unique program provides an economical way for young customers to manage wireless costs while having access to the latest wireless technology.

Packaged at $99.99, the [FREEUP] starter package includes a Kyocera 2135 wireless handset, service activation, a $15 prepay [SETUP] Card, Mobile MessengerSM Spk 'n Txt short text messaging, voice mail, call waiting, domestic long distance, national roaming and [TIMEUP] Minute MeterSM, a feature that helps customers manage their usage and notifies them when it is time to replenish their minutes.

"There are approximately 34 million young adults and late teens in the United States, with another 11,000 joining this segment every day," said Griselle House, district manager-Retail Stores, for Verizon Wireless. "These consumers are technology savvy and are relying more and more on wireless phones to help manage their hectic lives.

Since they have an insatiable desire for the latest in everything, we want to be sure that Verizon Wireless products and services are fully accessible to them. What better place to reach the late teen and young adult market than at the high-traffic areas of shopping malls, where young consumers are known to frequent," added House.

As part of the grand opening celebration, customers can receive a 20% discount on all safety accessories, such as ear buds and headsets, from November 2-4 at any Verizon Wireless communications store in Illinois.

Kristi Russell is the manager of the new Northwoods Mall kiosk. Hours of operation are as follows: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, Noon to 5 p.m. The phone number is 309-681-5129.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 28.7 million wireless voice and data customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD), including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless and PrimeCo Personal Communications. Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 97 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at