Santa Monica, Calif. – Verizon Wireless opened its first Destination Store on the West Coast in this California city near the famous Santa Monica Pier.
The store is the carrier’s fifth Destination Store, and it occupies the same retail space as F. W. Woolworth Company’s first West Coast store, built in 1949.
Verizon opened its first Destination Store in November 2013 at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. Since then, the company opened additional Destination Stores in Chicago, Houston and Boston.
As in the other Destination Stores, the Santa Monica store features multiple lifestyle zones, including fitness, music and sports zones to try out consumer and business products.
The “Customize It” zone features a Hollywood-themed “selfie” booth where visitors can take a picture of themselves in front of a large picture of the Hollywood sign and use it to create a custom phone case. Verizon will make the case there and deliver it through a curved, two-story pneumatic tube.
The “Get Fit” Zone lets visitors practice soccer shots with a ball that syncs to a smartphone to provide instant feedback on speed, spin, and estimated distance. Consumers can also test out a fitness accessory that measures endurance on a stationary bike and provides a readout of the calories burned, distance traveled, and other stats.
An NFL virtual-reality experience, exclusive to the Santa Monica location, features a virtual reality simulator that replicates the experience of running back a kickoff and getting “tackled” as the floor rumbles.
The Home Immersion Zone demonstrates the latest smart home technology, letting customers use a smartphone or tablet to open and close garage doors, lock door, set a thermostat and the like.
The store also includes zones popular in the company’s other Destination Stores, including an interactive wall where visitors can play one of three pre-set digital games for free. The Amplify It Zone lets customers try out music accessories, and the Have Fun Zone features a variety of digital toys for kids and adults. The Anywhere Business Zone lets entrepreneurs work with Verizon’s business solutions experts in a space designed to look like a Santa Monica skate shop. In the Wireless Workshop Zone, customers learn how to use their devices and accessories.
An official Grand opening celebration and concert is scheduled for July 18.
Verizon plans to open additional Destination stores on a schedule that it hasn’t announced.