By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
DALLAS — A new store design that AT&T will roll out nationwide this year and next includes lifestyle pavilions, ample amounts of digital signage, interactive video monitors and salespeople who use wireless tablets rather than cash registers to ring up purchases.
By the end of 2014, the carrier will roll out the designs to all 2,300 of its stores, a spokesperson told TWICE.
The new design was two years in the making and debuted Aug. 1 at AT&T’s store in La Grange, Ill.
The design “represents the future of retail and expresses how customers want to shop for and experience technology,” said Paul Roth, president of AT&T retail sales and service. “The stores bring to life AT&T’s mission, brand vision, and personality while at the same time satisfying curiosity about technology.” The goal is to create “a warm and inviting store design that encourages exploration,” he added.
The open floor plan highlights AT&T’s products and services in three zones: the connected experience zone, the community zone and the explore zone. The connected experience zone consists of multiple lifestyle vignettes that promote categories such as music, home automation and security, and entertainment. The music lifestyle area, for example, features headphones and wireless speakers.
Another lifestyle zone displays smartphone- controlled home-automation devices available with AT&T’s Digital Life home-automation service.
The community zone features long “community tables” that let shoppers pair a smartphone with the latest accessories. The explore zone displays the carrier’s device lineup and accessories and lets shoppers view product information on video screens.
Shoppers won’t see traditional sales stations with cash registers. Instead, salespeople use tablets linked wirelessly to a new mobile point-of-sale system to ring up transactions anywhere in the store. “This allows us to help customers from anywhere in the store,” Roth said. “We are turning what used to be overthe- counter transactions into side-byside interactions.”
For customers who need one-on-one time to answer more complex questions, a solutions center with round café-style tables “is designed to allow our consultants to have sit-down conversations with customers,” Roth said.
Customers won’t see a lot of printed promotional materials. “Information will be provided at a customer’s fingertips via digital signs, e-brochures and interactive video monitors,” the carrier said in a statement. “In our new design, we’ve incorporated high-definition digital screens throughout the store, which gives us the ultimate merchandising flexibility and immerses the customer in a unique sensory experience — even before they walk inside.” The screens can be updated at the push of a button to promote the latest products or services.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.