Sunday, September 7, 2008

Verizon Wireless Store Opens Next to Post Office

A Verizon Wireless store opened on August 29th in the old JC Cleaners location. The store is owned by Zcomm Wireless which operates close to 100 stores across the USA including nearby stores in Arlington and Lexington. The store which is considered a Authorized Agent by Verizon, operates under the Verizon Wireless name.

The store sells all kinds of Cell Phones, Mobile Devices and accessories along with phone plans. While they only provide plans for the Verizon network, they can switch people from competing networks like Sprint and AT&T while enabling them to keep their existing phone number. In addition to phones, Verizon Wireless also sell services for Verizon DSL, FiOS High Speed Internet and FiOS TV.

The store sell a wide array of wireless accessories such as chargers, headsets, bluetooth products, headphone and more.

I spoke to Michael Varney who is the store manager. Before managing this store, Michael spent 8 years with T-Mobile where he had responsibities for 35 stores in the NYC metro area. While he has been in sales since he was 16 years old, Michaels stated that his focus with the new store is customer service. Besides all the phone and accessories he has in stock, he can order almost anything else and have it delivered via Fedex to a home or office the next day. The store will also attempt to fix broken phones and can assist with any insurance claims if the phone cannot be fixed.

The LG Dare is currently the most popular phone in the store.

While the store doesn't sell the iPhone (which is only currently available for the AT&T network), they sell similar products such as the LG Dare and BlackBerry.

The store also caters to businesses with products like the BlackBerry 8830.

The store has 3 employees. The store is currently open from 10am-8pm Mon-Sat and most of the day on Sunday. Michael said the store tends to be busiest during lunchtime.

The store is working to replace this temporary sign with a permanent one.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cuzz's Candy and Novelties Opens

Cuzz's Candy and Novelties located at 72 Great Road (next to Ken's NY Deli) opened on August 23rd. I recently spoke to the owner, Kevin Stewart. Kevin a Bedford resident who works in the Lexington School Department, has had a dream for 30 years to open a penny candy store. As a kid he grew up with fond memories of Penny Candy stores. Recently he decided to try to sell Novelty items at flea markets. However with the price of gas going up, he figured it was cheaper to just rent a place and sell candy as well. He thought Bedford needed a candy store so he went ahead and opened the store.

Most of the Candy is "penny candy" in that you take a basket and fill it with candy from different containers. The price of the candy varies by individual item. Most of the Candy are ones you remember as a kid such as Bull Eyes (aka Caramel Creams). According to Kevin, the kids tend to gravitate towards "gross items", the grosser the better.

Along with penny candy items, Cuzz's also puts together custom gift baskets for occasions such as Birthday Parties, Weddings and raffles.

In addition to Candy, Cuzz's also offers a wide selection of Novelty Items.

I asked Kevin how he choose the name Cuzz's for his store. He mention that growing up, one of his cousins starting calling him Cuzz and the name stuck.

Proceeds from selected Novelty items are donated to Charity.

For Bedford Day, Cuzz's is planning to gave out flyers with coupons. For Halloween, they will be creating a special window display, lots of pumpkins and holiday decorations as well as special candy bags.

Kevin has been making Jewelry for years. His friends convinced him to display some of his items in the store. Most of the items sell for between $3-10 dollars.

The store currently has a 7 month lease (I'm guessing Bruce Blake is hoping to start demolition of the Blake Block in the spring). According to Kevin, if the store is doing well at that time, they will look for another nearby location. In the meanwhile he is looking to add Ice Cream and a soda machine. Cuzz's is open from 10AM-8PM Mon-Sat and Noon-6PM on Sundays.