By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Marion, Ind. — The Cellular Connection, the 28-state wireless specialty chain that exclusively sells Verizon Wireless service, has redesigned its flagship store in Indianapolis and will roll out the design to its other locations.
The chain, which operates more than 800 stores, is the largest Verizon-exclusive wireless retailer by store count in the U.S., the company said.
The flagship store’s 3,000-square-foot display area is designed to encourage consumers to play with products on display, the company said. President/CEO Scott Moorehead positioned the store as a place “where you come to find out about the products you didn’t even know were on the market and get hands-on with those devices.”
The back half of the flagship store is designed like a lounge area with couches and chairs from which consumers can play with accessory offerings. “If there's a product that is in the packaging that the guest would like to try before buying, they can get comfortable, and The Cellular Connection will demo this product hands-on in the lounge,” a spokesperson explained.
Wall-mounted lifestyle stations include a home solutions area that includes Sonos’ wireless multi-room audio system, Verizon’s Home Phone Connect device to connect home phones to the cellular network, and Comcast’s Xfinity cable-TV service. Other lifestyle stations are categorized as “Vibe,” “Pulse” and “Gear,” each with different products and accessories.
The Vibe section features ultra-portable Bluetooth speakers, higher-end audio, and over-the-ear headsets and earbuds.
The Gear section is the store’s productivity/business professional section, which offers products such as portable charging solutions, Bluetooth headsets and vehicle accessories.
Pulse is the active lifestyle section featuring outdoor and fitness solutions, including fitness monitors and lifestyle trackers that track daily activity. Also included are products such as waterproof phone cases and sport headsets.
Other changes in the new store design include a central hub of tablets in the middle of the store to let shoppers purchase products on their own. Sales consultants, however, are on hand to answer questions, the company said.
The hub utilizes XQ POS, which is a touchscreen-based customer-facing extension of the chain’s POS, the company explained. Consumers can browse for devices, accessories and other products/services on the tablets; do comparisons; and add items to a shopping cart. At that point, consumers either save and email or text product information and quotes to their mobile device for later reference, or they electronically send their shopping cart to any of the main terminals in the store to quickly process and finalize the transaction and pick up products, the company said.
To keep kids busy while parents shop, TCC built a kid-friendly station with video games and other activities.
The store continues to sell Dish satellite-TV service but now through a Dish Network zone.
The new store design will roll out to additional stores beginning this month, with a target of 15 stores up and running by the early second quarter. About 30 to 40 more stores will get the redesign by the end of 2013. The remodeling timetable after that is still being finalized.
On average, the stores feature 2,000 to 2,200 square feet of display space.
Moorehead took over as CEO in 2008, when the company had 190 stores and 774 employees. Today, the company has more than 800 locations and 1,250 employees.
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