by Mary Rupert
Entering the new AT&T store, you first see an electric guitar. It’s in the middle of a table where shoppers can see for themselves how electronic devices work with it.
It’s a zone where visitors can look at products, and try them out, and it’s the first clue that this isn’t a typical store.
The new AT&T store at 10620-A Parallel Parkway is not like the former one in The Legends. There is no cash register, no counter, no book of sales receipts, and no fliers around the store. This is the store of the future, according to AT&T, and it focuses on the mobile lifestyle of customers.
AT&T opened the first Kansas “Store of the Future” at Plaza at the Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., with a ribbon-cutting this morning.
“We’re thrilled to be part of the first ‘Store of the Future’ in Kansas,” said Mike Scott, AT&T Kansas president, at the ribbon-cutting.
Two years went into researching the concept. The store is modeled on retail concepts developed in Chicago, according to AT&T officials. Soon, there will be other stores like it in other areas in Kansas.
Chris Lester of AT&T media relations said the Kansas City, Kan., location was chosen for the first Kansas store because there’s so much retail activity here.
In the new store, there are no barriers between the customers, the products and the retail consultants, according to Kevin Massie, director of sales. The sales force uses tablets to produce electronic receipts, although paper receipts will be available on request. The tablets have a new mobile point-of-sale system, and payments can be made from wherever the customer is.
There are three store zones. One is the “connected experience” area for everyday life where customers can see products that work in their lives, such as entertainment and home security products. Another is called the “community zone,” where shoppers look at devices and apps on display on tables, and a third area is the “explore zone,” where devices and apps are on walls of products, with digital monitors.
“It’s designed for you to integrate the technology in your life,” Massie said.
You can learn, for example, how it’s possible to program your electronic devices to view visitors at the door, unlock the door, turn on the lights, and then lock the door again – all without being anywhere near your home.
Throughout the store, posters and fliers have been replaced by screens that stream videos.
AT&T mentioned that the new Apple iPhone 6, launching soon, could be pre-ordered beginning today at att.com/iPhone. When store sales start, it will be available at the AT&T store. New phone features include faster speeds and the ability to make payments.
Massie said the company has had more than $800 million of investment in Kansas City area wireless and wire line networks since 2010.
State Rep. Tom Burroughs, D-33rd Dist., welcomed AT&T, saying that he was extremely excited about the new store, that AT&T had been a great partner, and he thanked AT&T for investing in the community.
AT&T is on the west side of the new building at 106th and Parallel Parkway, with Starbucks on the east side. The new AT&T store is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.