(WGGB) — A local retail chain that specialized in selling cellular phones and accessories has suddenly closed several locations.
Customers arrived at Family Wireless stores Monday to find the doors locked and a note indicating that Verizon Wireless “decided not to renew our contract for most of our locations.”
The note goes on to say that “Therefore, we are forced to close our Family Wireless business. We cannot survive with the dismal options that Verizon Wireless has left us with.”
Family Wireless has six locations in Chicopee, East Longmeadow, Lee, South Hadley, Southwick, and Westfield.
Verizon Wireless spokesperson Michael Murphy released a statement saying:
“On Monday, August 26th, we received word that Family Wireless decided to discontinue selling Verizon Wireless service as an authorized agent at six of their locations in Western Massachusetts. As an independent authorized agent, Family Wireless is responsible for making its own business and operating decisions and Family Wireless made today’s decision to close its business without Verizon Wireless’ knowledge. Verizon Wireless did not ask nor did it request Family Wireless to cease operating as a Verizon Wireless authorized agent today. In fact, Verizon Wireless maintains a current contract with Family Wireless, and has been actively engaged in discussions regarding a new contract.”
Owner Todd Demers reached out to ABC40, elaborating on why it happened. He stated that Verizon didn’t want the family business model anymore, and that they wanted him to move his stores to “different and better locations” and change his business model. He also added that all employees have been paid to date.
Demers notes that he has no ill will towards the wireless company, and his contract with Verizon is up in September.
In the meantime he’s starting a new company, and might bring some of the same employees on board, most of whom are family.