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What’s in Store? Verizon Wireless Takes Retail to the Next Level

A year ago, Verizon Wireless began transforming its approach to retail when the company introduced its first Smart Store in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Staffed by expert, company-trained lifestyle zone specialists, Smart Stores showcase mobile lifestyles – such as fitness or music – and devices and accessories that complement and enrich the mobile experience.

Destination Stores are similar to Smart Stores on a larger scale, offering mobile lifestyle zones as well as other interactive and educational experiential areas showcasing how mobile devices, smart accessories and applications add value to the consumer’s individual lifestyle. Last fall, Verizon Wireless introduced the first Destination Store at the Mall of America and will soon be adding more stores in a number of iconic locations.
This reinvention of Verizon Wireless retail has recently captured the eye of the media. Here’s a snapshot of what they are saying:

New York Times
: “Established electronics retailers like Verizon Wireless have gone to great lengths in recent months to overhaul their stores,” said Nick Wingfield.

Retail Environments Magazine: “The high-energy store is more about lifestyle than it is about product, as the state-of-the-art, interactive, and hands-on digital experience helps consumers understand how technology can impact their lives.”

Event Marketer: “The store is warm and inviting, totally unlike any ‘telecom’ store I’ve visited in the past. The walls are brick, the floor is hardwood, there’s a comfy, red seating area where I can recharge my phone. I can buy a baby monitor, ear buds—and of course, a phone. If the picture I’m painting sounds like a huge departure from the telecom stores you’ve been in, well, it is. I’m inside a prototype of the new ‘destination stores,’” said Sandra O’Loughlin.

In a recent interview with Chain Store Age, Domenico D’Ambrosio, executive director of national retail operations at Verizon Wireless, summarized the company’s mission and rationale for the redesign: “We are transforming the focus of our stores from selling devices to enabling customers to discover all that wireless technology can do for their mobile lifestyles… All of our stores showcase our 4G LTE network and the various ways that wireless technology over our network can help customers do more based on their lifestyle needs, preferences and desires. It makes life easier and more fun. And from the business side, people can work smarter.”

Have you been to a Verizon Wireless Smart Store or Destination Store? Tell us about your experience @VZWNews!