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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