AT&T’s Lincoln Square Store in Bellevue is the Store of the Future

Lets face it…  phone stores can be pretty boring for most and overwhelming.  You walk into a store and its wall to wall of just phones.  Unless you know exactly what you want, it can make your brain hurt trying to pick the right one.  Thats why I really enjoyed seeing the new AT&T’s Lincoln Square store in Bellevue, WA.  I’m all about user friendly and thats exactly how it was.

You walk into a very clean, bright and modernized store.  Tables and chairs up front by huge windows.  Different sections (I call them Lifestyles) of product placement.  Almost like living spaces or creative rooms.  Wood was the theme in there to make it cozy and bright white with touches of color everywhere.  Just like you would find in a modern home with a touch of rustic to it.  Defiantly not your typical phone store.

AT&T Store of the Future Overview

As consumer expectations and shopping habits evolve, retail will stay relevant only when the experience is integrated with the web, highly interactive, educational, emotionally engaging and personalized. AT&T is reinventing the retail business and breaking the mold of traditional telecom retailing by focusing on how technology helps enables our lives, instead of on the technology itself.

The new store experience at Lincoln Square brings our brand to life and features everything customers need to support their mobile lifestyle. Our goal is to connect people while they’re on the go. This unique store design blends cutting edge technology with a warm and comfortable interior. The result is an inviting, yet forward-looking, shopping experience.

The Customer Experience at the Heart of the New Design
AT&T’s new store concept is the culmination of nearly two years of exploration. We looked at how to meet the needs of consumers while expressing the AT&T brand, products and services in meaningful and engaging ways. The stage was set to “rethink” what our retail environment could be. It led to the opening of the store at Lincoln Square in December.

Key Store Design Elements

  • Flexible design and open layout gives customers room to explore and discover. We’re using flexible walls and a new adaptable parts kit.
  • Digital screens are placed all over the store for interaction, education and brand content delivery.
  • New colors blend the warmth of wood, with glossy white high tech finishes. Both are balanced by the bold pop of AT&T’s signature orange.
  • The setting feels like the inside of a typical home. The outside is new and inviting. It features a porch and large open windows. They let in light and create views in and out of the store.
  • The design has an open, lofty and high tech atmosphere, yet feels personal and intimate with three distinct, but interconnected zones – The Connected Experience Zone, The Community Zone, and The Explore Zone.


Connected Experience Zone

  • It feels like a completely different experience when a customer enters the store.
  • The “Connected Experience Zone” uses flexible lifestyle vignettes, referred to as “Experience Pavilions,” to create immersive experiences showcasing AT&T’s connected products and services.
  • These vignettes use rich visual merchandising, interactive technology and feels like home. It brings Music, Digital Life, and Entertainment to life. These displays will change to keep the store fresh and relevant.
  • It brings Music, Digital Life, and Productivity to life. The Productivity Pavilion is aimed at our small business customers featuring products like e-Reader scanner, PayPal scanner, chargers and more.

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Community Zone

  • At the heart of the store is the Community Zone. It includes two large “Community Tables” that encourage customers to shop, interact and play in an open, active atmosphere.
  • These tables present complete product solutions. They combine the best apps, accessories and devices into personalized, relevant collections.
  • The Community Zone features exclusive products on adjacent display fixtures. Café style “Learning Tables” create a place for customers and reps to gather, learn and share.

Explore Zone

  • The “Explore Walls” of the Explore Zone will be the most familiar area of the store, where AT&T features the entire device line up, enhanced with visual accessory presentations.
  • This area connects customers to the brand and inspires interaction through integrated digital monitors that feature ambient brand graphics and promotional messaging.


Enhanced Sales and Service

  • The enhancements to the customer experience go beyond immersive product presentations in AT&T’s new store design. We emphasize a more efficient, easy and intuitive sales and service process for customers.
  • The transition to a fully mobile and distributed point-of-sale (POS) system creates places for customers and tablet-armed reps to connect face-to-face. We’re turning transactions into interactions.
  • These interactions occur at multiple landing stations in the store or in the semi-private sit down customer consultation area called the “Solutions Center.”

Table and Stools

Visual Merchandising

  • Visual Merchandising in the new store design tells a story to ignite the customer’s imagination.
  • It includes a music room, a kitchen and a media room. Each one is a defined environment that offers obvious and subliminal cues to allow the customer to imagine – and to demonstrate – every product.
  • Three key factors help ‘set the stage’ and allow customers to immerse themselves into a multi-sensory world.
    • Merchandising – Familiar objects draw a visual picture in each pavilion and cue the customer to what’s in store. A genuine guitar, maracas, trumpet and tambourines bring the Music Pavilion to life. Coffee service and a bowl of oranges complete the kitchen featuring Digital Life. A large bucket of popcorn sets the stage for an entertainment experience featuring a projector and speaker.
    • Every product is ‘live’ and interconnected with a sample product to show firsthand how it’s used, how it sounds, and how it operates. (Solutions) For example, in the Music Pavilion a customer can sample the sound of Beats headphones operated via Bluetooth from a device.
    • Composition of product. Products aren’t just displayed in a lineup. We elevate the product in a unique way. Products are placed on risers and/or thoughtfully arranged in unexpected patterns and heights.


Other key highlights: (not specific to the new design but important)

  • Mobile Point of Sale (POS)- More than 2,000 AT&T retail store are now utilizing the latest point of sale technology on tablets. By removing the traditional cash wrap stand/counter, AT&T is turning what was once a transaction to a customer interaction. By utilizing its own wireless technology, it’s untethering its retail employees. Empowering them to help customers with upgrades, new account set-up, account changes and purchases, all while standing next to the customer. We are taking advantage of mobile technology to literally put us closer to our customers.
  • Removing Paper from our stores- Paper consumption is also greatly reduced through the use of this mobile tool. Printing out a typical planogram could take up to 100 pages per store, which amounts to millions of sheets of paper saved on an annual basis. AT&T stores that are using the new mobile POS are also capable of conducting a paperless sales process. Now, when you visit an AT&T company owned retail store, you won’t see those racks of printed service brochures nor will you see the typical retail printed banner signs in the windows or in t-stands. You’ll continue to see this in the new stores that roll out with the new design as well. Our reps now simply pull out their tablet and access a new Mobile Sales Tool app that links to e-brochures for product and service information. Most of the devices around the store have e-brochures preloaded in them as well, making the information accessible to every customer. This reduces the printing of approximately half a million brochures annually. Customers also have the option to receive receipts and their Customer Service Summary sent to their email instead of printing it out in the store.


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About Leslie Pleasants

Leslie Pleasants is the founder of Today's Every Mom. Inspired by her own busy life with kiddos she set out to create a spot where Moms of any stage or age could find relevant and resourceful advice.