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    Meijer Launches Prepaid Wireless Phone Offering

    Right on time for Mother's Day -- the busiest Sunday of the year for telephone service --  'Meijer Mobile' becomes the first major retailer to launch branded phone service.

    Supercenter retailer Meijer has unveiled a line of prepaid wireless phones and phone cards under the Meijer Mobile brand, in a program in collaboration with wireless provider Fusion Mobile.

    "This is a big step forward for our electronics department," said Rob Shadowens, Meijer's electronics merchandising manager. "Our partnership with Fusion Mobile allows us to marry the highest value in prepaid wireless with the high levels of service Meijer customers have come to expect. It's a real win for those customers who rely on prepaid wireless offerings as their cell provider of choice."

    The chain said Meijer Mobile offerings are now available at all of its 181 stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky.

    Prepaid wireless options have grown steadily during the last 10 years, as the flexibility of the "no-contract" service attracts consumers such as college students, retirees, and active military members, explained Shadowens. While prepaid wireless services have always featured benefits such as no credit checks, he adds, no long-term contracts to sign and no hidden fees, Meijer Mobile prepaid plans also will include free benefits such as unlimited nights and weekend minutes, domestic long distance, text messaging, voicemail, caller ID, three-way calling, and the ability for customers to keep their unused minutes.

     "Cell phones are a daily part of today's busy lifestyle," said Shadowens. "The goal of Meijer Mobile is to give those families some very easy options when it comes to cell phones. Essentially, every checkout lane at Meijer could be viewed as a wireless phone store without the long waits for service."

    The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer has established a dedicated Web site to that's available by visiting http://www.Meijermobile.com.

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