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Verizon Wireless Expands to Circuit City

Verizon Wireless has decided to expand its retail footprint.

The carrier, which sells phones and service plans through 1,200 of its own stores, has signed an exclusive deal to place Verizon Wireless stores within 570 Circuit City Superstores nationwide.

Under the terms of the agreement, Verizon Wireless will be responsible for the employees, inventory, displays and signage. Existing Verizon Wireless customers will be able to use the Circuit City Verizon Wireless stores to conduct account business, such as look up account information and pay bills. The companies did not disclose financial terms of the agreement. The rollout will be complete by November.

"The [Circuit City expansion] is in addition to anything we would plan with our own stores," Brenda Raney, a Verizon Wireless spokeswoman, told internetnews.com.

The strategy of teaming with retailers is not new for phone and other companies, such as internet service providers, although the presence of a store-within-a-store is a new twist on it.

Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon Communications and Vodafone , is working to expand on several fronts.

In recent months, Verizon Wireless agreed to pay $930 million for NextWave Telecom's New York-area spectrum license.

It also struck a deal to buy Qwest's wireless assets for $418 million, expanding its coverage in 14 states out west.

Meanwhile, competitors are also gearing up to expand market share. Nextel stands to expand its service if a controversial spectrum swap survives possible legal challenges. Verizon Wireless is mulling a legal challenge to the proposed move.

And Cingular will gain a foothold with its pending acquisition of AT&T Wireless. That deal is expected to close by year's end.