Local Verizon store not closing

Verizon Communications admits that it will soon cease to operate its Verizon Wireless store in Atmore, but a company spokesperson said that rumors of the local store’s closing are more than a little off-base.

Jeannine Brew, an external communications spokesperson with Verizon Communications, said the company would in late July divest itself of several small stores, including Atmore’s, as part of an announced reorganization plan that is designed to pave the way for future company growth.

“Beginning in late July, a small number of Verizon Wireless stores will be divested to a Verizon agent,” Brew announced in an emailed response to questions about the rumors. “While these stores will no longer be operated by Verizon Communications, these Verizon agents, who will independently operate these stores, are committed to providing customers with the same level of service and quality standards that the community associates with the Verizon brand.”

Brew said the “agents” who take over management and operations of the divested stores will actually be franchisees who will continue to run the respective businesses.

“Each of the stores will be easily identifiable as a Verizon store, but the ownership and management will be different,” she explained.

The Verizon spokeswoman said the company would continue to maintain a presence in Atmore, and that the new franchisee would be designated as an authorized Verizon seller.

Asked for more details on ownership and makeup of the Atmore franchise, Brew said she was not at liberty to divulge that information. She added that she was unsure whether or not other area Verizon outlets, including those in Brewton and Bay Minette, might experience the same change in ownership.

“I’m not able to share the (name of the) agent that will be operating the Atmore location or (his or her) current portfolio at this time,” she said. “Also, I’m unaware of changes to other stores in (the Atmore) area.”

Employees of the local store will be given the opportunity to pursue employment with the new franchisee or to seek employment opportunities elsewhere within the company, Brew said.