The Cellular Connection opening three area stores

The Cellular Connection, a premium Verizon Wireless retailer, is opening its doors Wednesday at three area stores in St. Marys, Ridgway and Brookville. Grand openings are starting at 10 a.m., with the stores featuring all of their Black Friday sales on “White Wednesday,” a term which District Manager Abie VanAlstine created in anticipation of Black Friday.Refreshments will be provided at the event, as well as a radio remote broadcast from the St. Marys store and ribbon-cutting ceremonies.The St. Marys store is located along the Million Dollar Highway next to the Dollar Tree store, while the Ridgway store is situated at 143 Main St. and in Brookville at 301 W. Main St. near Subway.“We decided to open our stores here because this area is an underserved market. We have a request from Verizon to come in,” explained Justin Goehring, co-owner of The Cellular Connection chain.While the stores are a separate channel of Verizon, they will carry a full lineup of Verizon Wireless phones and a vast array of accessories, as well as provide efficient customer support and services.In addition customers, can make payments on their Verizon accounts at the store and upgrade or change their calling plan and account information.Goehring emphasized that while the store is charged a fee for making payments, those will not be passed onto customers. Other fees waived at the stores are for early upgrades and the $10 fee for customers who purchase a new phone and wish to have their contacts and photos transferred to their new device. “We are doing this to preserve the customer and encourage their return business,” noted Goehring. The 1,000-square-foot St. Marys store includes a seating area, phone display and accessory wall. The Ridgway store is the smallest of the three.“This area is a heavily dominated Verizon market. In rural markets, we are the corporate store. Our pricing is competitive from the corporate standpoint,” Goehring said. “There is less competition when you do things right. We want to get the customers the right phone for their needs.”For more on this story, see the Nov. 23 edition of The Daily Press.