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AT&T, LaGrange, Ill.

BY CSA STAFF
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AT&T has transformed its store in LaGrange, Ill., to a new look that the company is rolling out at new and redesigned stores nationwide. Focused on the customer experience, the store is designed to offer a more interactive and inviting environment. Many of the elements (design and merchandising) were introduced at AT&T’s flagship on North Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

The makeover starts on the façade, which invites customers in with a unique porch feature and large open windows that maximize daylight and views in and out of the store. On the interior, a flexible design, with flexible wall systems, encourages exploration.

The finish palette, which blends the warmth of wood with glossy white high-tech finishes, is balanced by the bold pop of AT&T’s signature orange hue. Digital screens are integrated throughout the space for interaction, education and the delivery of brand content.

The layout highlights AT&T’s products and services in three distinct zones:

The Connected Experience Zone features “lifestyle vignettes” that offer customers a glimpse of how solutions can be used in their everyday lives.

The Community Zone offers “community tables” that encourage customers to shop and play in an open and interactive space. Shoppers can explore apps, accessories and devices to see how they all work together.

The Explore Zone highlights AT&T’s diverse line-up of devices and accessories.

The store eschews traditional cash register and service counters and printed brochures and signs. Customers can sit side-by-side with AT&T associates at round, café-styled tables and ask questions or learn about products or services. And all associates are equipped with tablets supported by a new mobile point-of-sale system so that transactions can occur anywhere in the store. Information is provided via digital signs, e-brochures and interactive video monitors.


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News

Costco same-store July sales rise but miss estimates

BY CSA STAFF

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco Wholesale Corporation reported net sales of $7.87 billion for the month of July, the four weeks ended August 4, an increase of 7% from $7.36 billion during the similar period last year.

For the 48 weeks ended August 4, the company reported net sales of $94.91 billion, an increase of 8% from $87.7 billion during the similar period last year.

For the four-week period, changes in gasoline prices had a positive impact while foreign exchange rates had a negative impact on comparable sales. These impacts were immaterial for the 48-week period.

Comparable-store sales for the four-week period were up 4%, compared to the same period last year. However, according to a Reuters report, same-store sales for the month missed analysts’ estimates of 5.1%.

Costco currently operates 632 warehouses, including 451 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 85 in Canada, 33 in Mexico, 25 in the United Kingdom, 17 in Japan, 9 in Taiwan, 9 in Korea and 3 in Australia. The company plans to open up to an additional two new warehouses prior to the end of its fiscal year on September 1. Costco also operates electronic commerce websites at www.costco.com, www.costco.ca and www.costco.co.uk.

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REAL ESTATE

Buxton rolls out analytics for Canadian market

BY Michael Fickes

Fort Worth, Texas — Buxton has announced the roll out of a full suite of retail market analyses in the Canadian marketplace. The company noted that the Canadian retail market has become extremely competitive and will likely see massive retail growth over the next few years. As a new concentration for Buxton, the effort will focus on both U.S. retailers expanding into Canada, and Canadian organizations looking to maximize their footprint in the market.

“For 20 years, we’ve helped retailers identify who their customers are, and where those customers are located in the U.S.,” said Tom Buxton, founder and CEO of Buxton. “Now our focus will be on identifying those customers in Canada to guide retailers on their international expansion.”

Canada is becoming a top market for expansion outside the U.S. Many retailers feel that they have almost reached saturation in the U.S. and that moving into Canada is the next logical step.

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