AT&T Opens NYC 'Store of the Future' in Time for the Holidays

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2013-11-27 Print this article Print

AT&T has brought its new store concept to New York City. Located on West 57th Street, a hotdog's throw from Central Park, the store has the aesthetic of a modern hotel lobby meets a Starbucks and is designed to give shoppers lots of hands-on time with devices and accessories. These are incredibly competitive days for wireless carriers—certainly it must be a bit unnerving for AT&T executives that T-Mobile's chief executive keeps saying he intends to steal their customers (and judging by T-Mobile's last earnings report, he has begun to). The new AT&T store, the 13th of its kind and counting, serves at least two purposes. AT&T's business model is focused on buckets of data, and driving as many devices to sip from a bucket as possible. A customer inclined to browse amidst the warm wood and glossy-white tables of the new stores might be tempted to add a tablet or a home security solution to his data bucket, or just bring home some Bluetooth-connecting headphones. Additionally—as Apple has proved to the market and any number of other brands have taken note of (Verizon opened its own destination store, with zones for trying various products, Nov. 20)—an attractive space offering a warm environment is an ideal way to improve a brand image and, particularly with a number of devices attached to a connection, keep folks sticking around after their two-year contracts expire.

  • AT&T Opens NYC 'Store of the Future' in Time for the Holidays

    by Michelle Maisto
    1 - AT&T Opens NYC 'Store of the Future' in Time for the Holidays
  • AT&T 'Reinventing' Retail Store Design

    AT&T has brought its new retail concept to New York, with the Thanksgiving-week opening of a store at 250 W. 57th Street in Manhattan. It's the 13th store of its kind, with many more to come, says AT&T.
    2 - AT&T 'Reinventing' Retail Store Design
  • Focused on Customer Experience

    Traditionally, customers have been greeted with giant posters of the most popular phones. In the new stores, phones aren't billed higher than other devices—they're not even the first things customers see. The emphasis is on a warm, casual environment in which users can touch everything and wander everywhere.
    3 - Focused on Customer Experience
  • Goodbye to Registers

    "It's all walking, it's all about the experience," said Haris Jamal, a retail sales manager with AT&T's Retail & Small Business division, pointing out that formal registers have been replaced with tablets that sales representatives can carry around, leaving no spaces off limits. In the corner behind, customers can sit down one-on-one with a sales representative.
    4 - Goodbye to Registers
  • Interconnected Zones

    The new AT&T stores feature three zones: a Connected Experience Zone, Community Zone and Explore Zone. More obvious to customers may be that things are simply grouped—all the iPhones, for example—in ways that make sense to interact with them. This iPhone table also offers a chart for comparing the features of the three available models.
    5 - Interconnected Zones
  • Listen Up: Beats Audio

    AT&T has a partnership with Beats Audio, which makes a wide variety of stand-alone speakers and headsets. At a table of speakers, customers can compare sounds, and at this wall they can compare headsets, plugging them into the phone provided (all of which are "live," connected phones) or their own phone.
    6 - Listen Up: Beats Audio
  • AT&T Digital Life

    The store includes a demo of Digital Life, AT&T's home security solution, that includes using a tablet to do thinks like lock the door on the wall, change the thermostat and look through the wall-mounted camera.
    7 - AT&T Digital Life
  • Small Business Friendly

    On a table with solutions geared toward small businesses or just business-minded consumers, the smartphone payment solution Square is on display, with the suggestion that it's great for yard sales and bake sales.
    8 - Small Business Friendly
  • Presenting Ideas

    This office setup shows how a tablet with a keyboard accessory could be all the equipment that some users need.
    9 - Presenting Ideas
  • Motorola Moto X

    Consumers can go online to view all the ways to customize their Moto X. Or, they can see them first-hand at the new AT&T store.
    10 - Motorola Moto X
  • Samsung Galaxy Gear

    Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatches are displayed like lollipops, waiting to be snatched up.
    11 - Samsung Galaxy Gear
  • Color-Coded for Shopping Ease

    Colored plastic pieces on the end of informational placards make shopping more efficient at a glance, as they're colored-coded to the operating systems the phones run. Green, for example, is for Android phones, blue is for Windows Phone and black is for BlackBerry.
    12 - Color-Coded for Shopping Ease
  • Miroir Pico Pocket Projector

    Toy cars create the mood of a drive-in in a display for the Miroir Pico Pocket Projector. The projector connects to an Android phone via an HDMI cord and can project images as large as 60 inches. AT&T is also happy to suggest a mobile speaker to pair with it. AT&T wants to be more than a "wireless pipe" to consumers, Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart told eWEEK. "They want a deeper relationship."
    13 - Miroir Pico Pocket Projector

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