O2 is to open a new concept store in Manchester, underpinned by customer inspiration and digital exploration taking centre-stage.
The new store has been designed to update the look and feel of a traditional mobile phone shop and provide a new outlet for customers to do more than 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 sq ft of floor space showcasing the latest technology, interactive ‘inspire zones’ and roving technology tutorials delivered by ‘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.
“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,” said Lea. “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.”
A second concept store will open in London’s Westfield White City later in January. Both will feature interactive ‘inspire zones’, giving customers the chance to try the latest technology – from virtual reality to the latest connected devices, as well as mobile handsets
Regular technology tutorials will be delivered by O2 Gurus, covering everything from helping parents find out how to keep their children safe online, to practical advice on how to connect different devices together and how to use technology to get fit
There will also be lounge areas offering hot drinks and wireless mobile charging.
According to O2, each new employee has been taken through a bespoke customer service training programme, delivered using a team of guest speakers and actors, and inspired by the individual cities and the people living there. The programme was designed to provide hands-on digital experience, emotional intelligence and distil the ability to excite and inform customers.
Following O2’s 2014 move to reward all O2 stores employees for the service they give to customers, all employees will prioritise exceptional customer experience and be rewarded solely on the service they provide, rather than the sales they generate.