New Store Concept Defines Meaning of Customer Experience: Converged Wireline/Wireless Services Brought to Life Through Hands-On Interaction
More than 5,000 square-feet. Eye-catching tattoos. High-tech speakers. Pulsating beats. Four dozen screens. The latest, coolest, hottest wireless phones. And not a velvet rope in sight.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) today unveiled a new way to shop for and experience an array of communications and entertainment services with the official re-branding of a Cingular retail store in Houston. It is the first of many planned conversions of company-owned Cingular stores from wireless-centric spaces to a high-energy retail format that showcases AT&T’s complete provider profile.
The new AT&T Experience Store, larger than the typical Cingular store, not only received an extreme makeover — both inside and out — but is the first to demonstrate the benefits of housing AT&T’s product suite under one roof. It is also the first to feature a fully integrated media experience made possible through convergence by encouraging interaction with the company’s extensive portfolio of wireless, broadband, video and wireline voice products and services via several experience and personalization stations located throughout the store.
“The AT&T Experience Store in Houston is what the new AT&T is all about,” said Stan Sigman, Wireless president & CEO, AT&T Inc. “All of the communications and entertainment products consumers want are in one place, and under one roof.”
Located across from the former Compaq Center in Houston, the more than 5,000-square-foot store will feature several new retail concepts including six integrated “customer experience” stations encouraging customer interaction with cutting edge wireline, wireless and converged services. In addition, knowledgeable store personnel will be on hand throughout the store and within each of the stations to guide consumers through product trials and purchasing decisions.
“Today, customers will be able to touch and feel the vast array of AT&T’s full suite of services for the first time,” said Ralph de la Vega, group president-Regional Wireline Operations, AT&T Inc.
“This is just another way we are demonstrating our commitment to providing customers with innovative integrated services, streamlined customer care and greater convenience when purchasing communications and entertainment products.”
- AT&T Entertainment: The focal point of the store, customers will be invited to watch AT&T U-verseSM TV and AT&T HomezoneSM service demonstrations on three 52″ high-definition plasma televisions, test drive both the Web-based and wireless remote access feature, experience high definition programming and browse an extensive video on demand catalogue in this section.
- AT&T Home Connections: Customers will be able to browse the Internet, customize AT&T Yahoo! homepage portals, and test AT&T Remote Monitoring through a remote camera set up in the store via wireless phones.
- Music: Customers will be able to listen to XM Satellite Radio on wireless phones, Bluetooth headphones, and Bluetooth external speakers and also transfer personalized music content via laptop or mobile phone. The new iPhone, when it becomes available in the near future, will also be showcased at this station.
- Gaming: Using wireless phones, Bluetooth stereo headsets, and laptops, personnel will demonstrate game downloading to wireless phones and store laptops at this station.
- Messaging and Video: This station will highlight 3G phones and Bluetooth accessories and will provide customer interaction with multimedia messaging and photo and video sharing capabilities.
- Laptop Mobility, E-mail and Data: Geared toward road warriors, on-the-go customers, and small business owners, this front-of-store station will include wireless phones, PDAs, smartphones, GPS, and Bluetooth accessories. Customers will be encouraged to interact with e-mail and Microsoft applications across these devices.
In addition, a centrally located Personal Style Studio will showcase high-end accessories and will allow customers to purchase external wireless features like ringtones, crystal handset designs, and phone “tattoos,” or pictures customers can download to a laptop in-store, print on a sticker, and apply to wireless phones.
Other unique features include four dozen screens located throughout the store. On these screens, visitors can learn about and experience a variety of AT&T products and services including broadband, wireless, voice and video throughout the store and six 32-inch LCD displays running digital messages informing customers about a variety of lifestyle, product benefits and features. A series of “Guided Selling Kiosks” also provide valuable information to assist employees and customers during the sales process.
The move is part of the multifaceted campaign launched in January to transition the Cingular brand to AT&T, one of the best-known and iconic brands in the world, and a key initiative in the company’s ongoing commitment to integrate its wireline and wireless operations and strengthen its position as a complete provider of communications and entertainment services.
Located at 3773 Southwest Freeway, it is the first of several additional AT&T Experience Stores to open throughout the 22-state local service territory this year with San Antonio and Atlanta locations slated to open in May.
AT&T has expanded in its 13-state pre-merger local service territory, installing AT&T-branded media centers at more than 375 wireless stores where customers can learn about, see live demonstrations, and order AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet and, where available, AT&T U-verse TV or AT&T Homezone. AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet service is also available through more than 750 agent-owned wireless locations, which also will have AT&T-branded signage. Through these locations, customers can order broadband and soon, other services as well.