Christopher Severo’s network keeps expanding.
Nine years after opening his first Verizon Wireless store, the Stamford resident has capitalized on the ever-growing popularity of smartphones to build a portfolio of more than two dozen sites. His 26th Verizon establishment opened April 26 at 711 Canal St. in the city’s South End.
“Our focus and our drive is to take care of the customers,” Severo said during an interview at the new store. “That’s what we feel our competitive advantage is — to make our stores feel welcoming to their neighborhoods and have customers who will be with us for many years getting themselves and their families phones.”
Situated in the main shopping plaza serving the Harbor Point complex, the approximately 800-square-foot outlet was an ideal location for another Verizon store in Stamford, Severo said. In 2015, he opened a location in the Glenbrook section at 290 Hope St.
“We thought the area was thirsty for a Verizon store,” Severo said. “It’s an exploding market, an emerging market and a big millennial market. It fit both Verizon’s interest and ours to have a presence here.”
The new store sells smartphones made by Apple, Google, Motorola and Samsung. It offers accessories including cases, screen protectors, chargers, data cables and Bluetooth speakers. The shop also offers customer support covering installations, upgrades and billing for personal and business accounts.
“I’m going to be around — figuring out how people utilize their devices and what they need,” said store manager Jermaine Gordon, who previously worked at Verizon stores in Danbury and Westport.
Sales associate Diego Bouzada works alongside Gordon.
“We want to build customer loyalty,” Bouzada said. “We’re going to come out with better solutions and offer all the benefits they can get. We’re going to go above and beyond for the customers.”
Severo, 36, opened his first Verizon store in Darien in 2008. He has steadily grown his holdings, which extend across Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. His Verizon stores in Fairfield County include the two in Stamford, the original location in Darien and others in Bethel, Danbury, Greenwich, New Canaan, Newtown, Norwalk, Trumbull and Westport. In total, Severo employs 127.
“I’ve always been intrigued by technology, and when cell phones emerged and evolved into smartphones and become a handheld computer that was part of every single person’s life, it kind of took off from there,” Severo said. “I find tremendous motivation in the relationships that are built with the customers and the communities.”
Severo said he enjoys a strong relationship with Verizon’s corporate offices. The company decides who runs each store, but they allow authorized retailer “agents” like Severo to submit location proposals. Severo found the Canal Street site with the help of commercial real estate agent Jeff Kravet, who brokered the lease for the new store.
Verizon officials said they are pleased with Severo’s performance, which they said represents the contributions made by their retailer agents across the country.
“Our Verizon Wireless authorized retailer channel plays an important role in providing our customers with access to a world-class wireless experience where they live, work and play,” Verizon officials said in a statement. “We are proud to work with these entrepreneurs as they create jobs and help grow the local economy.”