Our new concept for O2, in Manchester’s Market Street has customer inspiration and digital exploration at its heart.
The new store concept launched in Manchester last week ahead of the Westfield White City store due to open later this month. The store has been designed to revolutionise the traditional mobile phone shop and provide a new destination for people to not just buy a mobile phone, but to learn about and be inspired by the latest technology. At three times the size of O2’s typical stores, the location comprises over 2,300 square feet of floor space showcasing the very latest technology, interactive ‘inspire zones’ and roving technology tutorials delivered by expert O2 Gurus.
The store opening comes as O2’s GM of Stores, Bridget Lea, calls for the industry to shake off the traditional mobile phone shop stereotype.
Bridget said: “At O2, helping our customers get the most out of technology is at the heart of everything we do. But, the reality is, while mobile phones are at the heart of the digital revolution, mobile phone stores are not leading this revolution on the high street. Traditionally, mobile phone shops have been designed to be very functional and can often be uninviting and uninspiring – somewhere people visit occasionally to make a purchase rather than visit frequently to learn and be inspired by the possibilities of technology.
“That’s exactly what we’ve set out to change. We’re re-writing the rule book and creating a new kind of mobile phone shop to help us serve our customers better.”
Relaxed, agile and social, the concept breaks away from what a traditional mobile phone shop looks like. Customers on any network are encouraged to connect with the store in the way that suits them to enhance their daily lives – whether they want to have a complimentary coffee and work remotely on their laptops at the community table, hear about the latest local music events, charge their phone or take a workshop with an O2 Guru.
Simon Parkes, Design Director at Dalziel & Pow, said: “Thanks to the versatile design, the stores will be regularly updated to tell relevant stories, ensuring customers always have something fresh to discover and a reason to go in store.”
Themed interactive takeovers will change each month, engaging customers through a digital layer of attraction on the storefront, including four reconfigurable screens, and the ‘Inspire’ zone inside.
At launch, the Manchester store features an exclusive area where customers will be given the chance to explore the world of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, including a BB-8 Training Zone.
O2 Gurus are on hand around the store to offer advice and demos, with comfy sofas in the Hospitality area for more in-depth conversations. The store’s broader lifestyle appeal complements their locations among leading fashion brands in key shopping hubs.
The concept is a brave new approach that shows O2’s commitment to customer-focused experiential retail.
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