At the company’s new flagship store at the Mall of America, Verizon Wireless unveiled a new consumer experience store to showcase Verizon’s connected devices. Verizon is billing the experience as a “destination store” designed to educate and help customers discover new products and devices that make their lives easier.
The store has been divided into several “lifestyle zones”, each targeting a different aspect of consumer lives. There are six lifestyle zones in total: Get Fit, Have Fun, Home and on the Go, Amplify It, Customize It, and Anywhere Business. Each zone is focused on this interactive activities, where customers can learn about many different kinds of products by trying them out.
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In the Get Fit zone, customers can go hands-on with several fitness-themed devices including the Nike Fuelband, Fitbit Force and connected scales. In the Amplified zone, Verizon showcases Bluetooth speakers, headphones and even an interactive DJ booth people can use to spin tracks. Zones will be refreshed seasonally. For example, the Get Fit zone will feature seasonally-appropriate activities, such as skiing in the winter instead of running during warmer months.
At each of its Destination Stores, employees will be well educated in their respective zones, enabling employees and customers to have meaningful conversations that should leave customers more knowledgeable about the products they’re looking for. This is a welcome change to the traditional model, where employees often know a bit about all products offered, but tend to push their preferred devices.
The Store at the Mall of America is the company’s first of many Destination Stores launching in coming months. Verizon will be launching Destination Stores in Chicago and Houston in early 2014, with more stores to be announced at a later date.
Verizon isn’t the first to try this hands-on approach to stores. The Samsung Experience recently went from being a stand-alone location, to being embedded in Best Buy locations nationwide. Intel also recently took the wraps off its new Experience Stores in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.