It’s not what you see as much as what you don’t see that defines AT&T’s new store concept.
Noticeably missing from the prototype, which debuted in La Grange, Ill., are traditional counters, checkout registers and printed signage. Instead, the 3,200-sq.-ft. store offers an inviting, modern and interactive environment that is focused on the customer experience.
“From the open floor plan to learning and community tables where customers can play and explore, every element of our new store concept was made with our customers in mind — and the experience we wanted them to have once inside,” explained Paul Roth, AT&T president of retail sales and services, AT&T, in a blog post about the new design.
Conventional counters have been replaced by café-style tables where customers can sit with store associates. And checkouts have been replaced with a mobile point-of-sale system that allows associates to help customers anywhere in the store.
“We’ve tossed out the traditional sales stations and equipped our consultants with tablets,” Roth wrote. “This allows us to help customers from anywhere in the store. We are turning what used to be over-the-counter transactions into side-by-side interactions. If a customer requires some one-on-one time for more complex questions, we help them in the Solutions Center, which is designed to allow our consultants to have sit-down conversations with customers.”
In place of window banners, product brochures and other printed promotional materials, the store uses high-definition digital screens for engagement, education and brand content delivery. The screens are intended to immerse the customer in a sensory experience, even before they walk inside the space, while providing AT&T with the ultimate in merchandising flexibility.
“From information on the latest promotion to the hottest product or service, the screens can be updated with the push of a button,” Roth explained.
In addition to the screens, E-brochures of product and service information are displayed on tablets. The digital focus extends beyond the customers: Mobile planograms show employees how and where to stock shelves and pegs, allowing for real-time updates as well as a reduction in paper.
The new format will be rolled out to new and redesigned company-owned stores across the country, starting in the greater Cincinnati area. Designed to bring to life AT&T’s mission and brand vision while helping customers better understand technology, it incorporates many elements — scaled back for a smaller space — from the AT&T flagship on Chicago’s North Michigan Avenue. These include a palette that blends warm woods with glossy-white, high-tech finishes and bold accents in the brand’s signature orange hue.
Other key elements of the design include the use of an open layout to encourage customer exploration, and flexible wall systems that provide the ultimate in design flexibility.
The layout highlights AT&T products and services in three distinct “zones” or departments:
• The Connected Experience Zone includes lifestyle scenarios that provide shoppers with glimpses of how products/solutions are used in their everyday lives, spotlighting such categories as music, home security and entertainment.
• The Community Zone features community tables where customers can play and explore apps, accessories and devices to see first-hand how they can all work together.
• The Explore Zone allows customers to check out and demo the full lineup of AT&T devices and accessories.