As the lines between the physical and digital retail worlds blur and consumers turn to their mobile devices and apps to enhance their mobile lifestyle, AT&T said it is transforming its retail stores in Kentucky and Ohio to enhance the shopping experience for customers. Many of the new store design and merchandising elements such as digital signage displays and interactive touch tables were first seen in AT&T's award-winning flagship brand store on the famed Michigan Avenue in Chicago and are now being scaled across its other company-owned retail stores.
The new store concept was a result of more than two years of exploration and research centered around a design goal of creating a more interactive and inviting store environment, the company said.
Customers in northern Kentucky and the greater Cincinnati area will be among the first to experience the new store concept at the Newport, Ky., store just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati.
"Customers visiting our Newport store will discover a design that is built around their experiences and delivers an interactive shopping experience that mirrors their mobile lifestyle," Larry Evans, vice president and general manager for AT&T in Ohio, said in the announcement. "Our goal is to become America's premier retailer by providing an exceptional experience in every interaction, and we've been working hard to exceed customer expectations by taking our stores and network to a new level here in the Cincinnati area."
Everything about the store is designed for flexibility and to bring to life AT&T's mission, brand vision and personality while encouraging self-discovery and satisfying curiosity, the company said.
The store layout will highlight AT&T's products and services, devices and accessories across three unique "zones" — the Connected Experience Zone, the Community Zone and the Explore Zone.
The new Connected Experience Zone features "lifestyle vignettes" that offer customers a glimpse of how solutions can be used in customers' everyday lives. These lifestyle pavilions will highlight categories such as music, home security and entertainment and more.
The Community Zone features "community tables" that encourage customers to shop and play in an open and interactive space. This space merchandises apps, accessories and devices to show customers how they can work together.
Finally, customers can check out the Explore Zone with "explore walls" that highlight AT&T's diverse device lineup and accessories complemented by digital monitors with product information.
Also, customers will no longer see the traditional retail cash register counters. Instead, they'll find round café-style "learning tables" that allow for side-by-side interactions with the AT&T retail consultant to ask questions or learn about a product or service. All retail consultants will be equipped with a tablet supported by a new mobile point-of-sale system that gives ultimate flexibility for helping customers anywhere in the store.
Customers also won't see the printed product brochures common in many stores. With digital signage, e-brochures and interactive video monitors, they can have the information at their fingertips while giving AT&T the flexibility of updating messaging faster and more efficiently.
Learn more about retail digital signage.