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Verizon To Open 12,000-Square-Foot Destination Store

Houston – Verizon Wireless will open its third and largest Destination Store here on Nov. 24 with 12,224 square feet of space in two stories.

The first store opened a year ago in the Mall Of America in Bloomington, Ill., and the second opened on Nov. 15 on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.

The Destination stores are part of a broader retail initiative that includes the redesign of the carrier’s more than 1,700 retail stores and operational changes within. Redesigned stores, called Smart Stores, are smaller-scale versions of the Destination Store, which incorporate multiple interactive lifestyle zones.

In the Houston store, the carrier will deploy more than 70 employees to staff six interactive Lifestyle Zones, where visitors can operate products and play with apps in what Verizon called “a visual playground setting.” Zones include areas for music playback, home automation, health and fitness, and business.

The store also features 140 digital screens that lets shoppers access information on products and services. One screen is a 14-foot gesture-based interactive curved wall of screens that illustrates consumers using the Verizon network to pursue lifestyle passions  such as sports, music or travel, the company said.

Among the lifestyle zones, the Amplify It area is a music-oriented section that features headphones and Bluetooth speakers. A wall of sound presents 136 speakers that shoppers can demo. A Digital DJ Booth lets shoppers listen to their favorite music through the Slacker Radio app.

The Anywhere Business zone includes areas that showcase technology and accessories that support the area’s telemedicine and oil industries, including oil-well monitoring products.

The Get Fit area lets customers use products that measure activity progress, set and maintain fitness goals, and improve sleep habits. Customers can test them out riding an in-store stationary bike or shooting balls into a basketball hoop.

The Have Fun zone features tech toys, including a Power Drone and GoPro cameras. The zone is positioned as appealing to avid gamers and first-timers alike.

The Home and On The Go section is a connected-home area where shoppers can trial smart-home accessories such as the Belkin WeMo switch to unlock and open doors, a Belkin light switch, and a Belkin HD and Dropcam Pro remote camera, all controlled from a smartphone or tablet.

In the Customize It area, a photo booth lets customers create a customized smartphone case with personal photos and custom colors. The case is created on site while the customer shops.

The store also features a dedicated Wireless Workshop area with seating for personalized hands-on training by a Verizon education specialist who shares tips about getting the most out of a device. The specialist also leads free classes in front of a large, interactive digital display screen.

The carrier’s Chicago store is also two stories tall but only 10,000 square feet, while the Bloomington store covers 9,715 square feet.