Ina Fried

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Verizon Wireless, Jennifer Lopez Partner to Launch Viva Movil, Mobile Retailer Aimed at Latino Market

Jennifer Lopez is getting into the mobile business.

jennifer_lopez_viva_movil

The star is the chief creative officer and majority owner in Viva Movil, a mobile retailer working with Verizon Wireless to target Latino customers.

Viva Movil will have its own stores, complete with bilingual staff, hands-on time with devices and dedicated play areas for kids. The first store will open in June at “a busy intersection” in New York with at least 15 planned this year in cities including Los Angeles and Miami.

Lopez said the U.S. Latino market represents $1.2 trillion in purchasing power and, on its own, would be equal to the world’s 14th largest country.

“We do things differently, including how we shop for wireless devices,” Lopez said at a press conference with Verizon at the CTIA trade show in Las Vegas. “We will provide a new customer experience.”

In addition to the forthcoming stores, Viva Movil is also selling online, at a website that went live on Wednesday. The site lists a range of devices including top Verizon phones such as the iPhone 5, Galaxy S III and Droid Razr Maxx. The plans are typical Verizon ones, including shared data plans and both contract and no-contract plans.

Lopez also promised a social shopping experience, including integration with Facebook.

And, of course, there will be some JLo-crafted accessories. Down the road, Viva Movil may do custom devices but for now it will use those already carried by Verizon.

In addition to Lopez, Viva Movil is a partnership with wireless company Brightstar and Moorhead Communications — the largest of Verizon’s premium retailers with 850 stores. Verizon is the exclusive wireless provider but doesn’t own a stake in Viva Movil.

Lopez was joined onstage by Verizon COO Marni Walden.

“We hope to be the most exciting thing that comes out of CTIA,” Walden said.


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