Architecture & Design, Retail, and Technology

Wireless carrier rolls out Smart Store

June 13, 2014
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Wireless carrier opens first Smart Store
The Verizon Wireless store in Comstock Park is the first store in the region featuring the carrier’s Smart Store design. Courtesy Verizon Wireless

A wireless carrier is re-designing its stores to give customers a more hands-on understanding of technology.

Comstock Park

West Michigan will be one of the first parts of the state to preview the new Verizon Wireless Smart Store, with Verizon’s Comstock Park store recently undergoing the transformation.

As part of the re-design, the store moved out of its previous space, at 4150 Alpine Ave. NW, and down the street to a 4,500 square foot, LEED-certified space, at 3850 Alpine Ave. NW.

Verizon Wireless Smart Stores will eventually become the norm for all of Verizon’s 1,700 stores nationwide.

“We’re transforming the focus of our stores from selling devices to enabling customers to discover all that wireless technology can do for their mobile lifestyles,” said John Granby, president, Verizon Wireless Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky.

“This new approach allows us to showcase our 4G LTE network and the various ways that wireless technology over our network can help customers do more based on their lifestyle needs, preferences and desires.”

The Comstock Park Smart Store is hosting its soft opening today and will host its grand opening on June 28.

“Some of these concepts were first tested at the destination store in the Mall of America,” said Trevor Thomas, public relations manager, Verizon Michigan.

Kalamazoo next

Thomas added that the first Michigan Smart Store was opened in St. Claire Shores last year, and Kalamazoo will open one in two weeks, at 5063 W. Main St.

“Some stores will see remodels with these concepts installed, but all 1,700 stores nationwide will have everything you see here,” Thomas said. “It’s a multi-year project.”

Design

The Smart Store design features more open space for customers to browse and interact with the technology and a horse-shoe shape station for customers to experience technology workshops.

The design also contains four zones for customers to discover and play with technology that could fit their lifestyles, said Ken Humphrey, general manager, Verizon Comstock Park.

The zones contain touchpads filled with information on the zone’s technical topic and also allow representatives to spend more time with customers.

The zones

Amplify It: for on-the-go music
Get Fit: for tracking healthy habits
Have Fun: for novel tech gadgets
Home and on the Go: for home automation

“The Smart Store concept is rooted in the idea that Verizon is no longer the place where you walk in to get your phone upgraded,” Thomas said. “We are adapting to the customer experience to make sure that when you think about technology, you’re able to come into the store and think about what technology can do for you with your lifestyle.

“There’s a lot of technologies that people and businesses don’t even know exists. We want to make sure we’re asking customers questions about their lifestyles, so we can be helpful, save them time and make their lives a little more enriched, because of the technology that’s at their fingertips.” 

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