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

1 - AT&T Opens NYC 'Store of the Future' in Time for the Holidays
2 - AT&T 'Reinventing' Retail Store Design
3 - Focused on Customer Experience
4 - Goodbye to Registers
5 - Interconnected Zones
6 - Listen Up: Beats Audio
7 - AT&T Digital Life
8 - Small Business Friendly
9 - Presenting Ideas
10 - Motorola Moto X
11 - Samsung Galaxy Gear
12 - Color-Coded for Shopping Ease
13 - Miroir Pico Pocket Projector
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AT&T Opens NYC 'Store of the Future' in Time for the Holidays

by Michelle Maisto

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Presenting Ideas

This office setup shows how a tablet with a keyboard accessory could be all the equipment that some users need.

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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.

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Samsung Galaxy Gear

Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatches are displayed like lollipops, waiting to be snatched up.

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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.

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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."

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