STORE SPACES

AT&T to open new concept store—complete with ‘state-of-the-art’ coffee cafe

BY Marianne Wilson

AT&T is putting a new spin on wireless retail.

The communications giant on Sept. 29 will open a store in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood under a new banner, The Lounge by AT&T. The first of its kind for the company, the 3,000-sq.-ft. space is designed to be part retail store, part coffeehouse and part hangout space.

AT&T is collaborating with small business owners Danielle and David Hulton to bring The Lounge to the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Ada’s Discovery Café will be situated inside the location. The cafe will feature “coffee robots” that will use precision technology to brew coffee as perfectly as possible, a task that a human simply cannot replicate, according to AT&T.

The store will also offer an innovative digital shopping experience that has never been used at any other AT&T store. It enables a customer to use an intuitive digital catalog – from a large 4K screen or their personal device – and then pick up their new AT&T purchases from secure lockers within the space.

In addition, The Lounge will have a custom app that will allow customers to order and pay for coffee and food from Ada’s; listen to programming shown on a huge 98-inch high-definition TV screen; and search for upcoming store events.

“We want it to be a second living room for Capitol Hill residents, both AT&T and non-AT&T customers, to meet up, work, and hang out,” said Jeff Bradley, West Region president at AT&T. “What makes this space so unique is a design and layout that embodies the Capitol Hill neighborhood, the collaboration with a local small business, Ada’s Discovery Café, and an innovative digital shopping experience. The Lounge is more about an experience than it is about retail. It’s a collection of services unlike anything else in our industry – it’s designed to change the way we engage with consumers.”

The Lounge is part of AT&T’s newly announced strategy to have one of the fastest growing retail footprints in the nation with more than 1,000 new store locations – many mobile and pop-up formats – by the end of 2019. The company’s portfolio currently includes more than 5,300 branded stores.

“We picked Seattle to launch this concept because consumers here love great coffee and new tech gadgets,” said Morgan Collins, VP and general manager of Pacific States at AT&T. “This market is creative, adventurous, and tech-savvy, so we’re evolving as our customers’ interests and preferences evolve.”

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AT&T to open 1,000 stores

BY Marianne Wilson

AT&T is ramping up retail expansion—and not just in standard locations.

The telecommunications giant announced plans to add 1,000 new stores, giving it one of the fastest-growing retail footprints in the nation. In addition to standard retail locations, AT&T plans to open pop-up stores in apartment buildings, condos and other locations in dense urban environments. The company, which said it can typically open these smaller-footprint stores within 60 days of signing a lease, plans to launch a total of 100 pop-ups this year.

AT&T is not just targeting urban markets. It is also adding hundreds of stores in smaller cities and towns across the country, and expanding its mobile store division. It already has mobile stores in all its major markets, and will have more than 150 on the road by the end of this year.

“We’re working to make our customer interactions more convenient and seamless,” said Rasesh Patel, senior executive VP of AT&T Digital, Retail & Care. “We designed our new stores to get you in and out quickly while you’re on the go, so you can enjoy more of your thing.”

AT&T emphasized that not all its stores will look the same.

To learn more, click here for a video.

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Home decor superstore retailer makes itself ‘at home’ in Illinois

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

At Home is expanding its presence in the Prairie State.

The home decor superstore retailer opened the doors to a new location in Elmhurst, Illinois. This is the company’s fourth store in the Chicago area, and fifth store in the state.

The 100,000-sq.-ft. location, which is based on a warehouse model, offers more than 50,000 home décor items, including furniture, housewares and seasonal décor, among other categories. On average, 400 new products arrive each week, and style ideas are continually updated.

“As we strategically grow our national footprint, we are excited to open our fourth store in the Chicago area,” said At Home chairman and CEO Lee Bird. “Our vast selection of on-trend styles is winning over home décor customers who want it all: value, variety and an inspiring, hands-on shopping experience.”

At Home operates 168 stores in 36 states.

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