Chute Gerdeman’s Design Enhances Retail Experience
COLUMBUS, OH—Verizon Wireless is continuing to transform the retail experience this month with the opening of two new Destination Stores. The flagship stores on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and Houston’s Boulevard Place take the company’s World Retail Store of the Year Award-winning Mall of America store concept to even greater heights.
Conceptualized and designed by leading retail experience design and strategic brand consultancy firm Chute Gerdeman, Verizon’s Destination Stores are about lifestyles and the technologies that impact them. The lifestyle-based strategy is changing the course of Verizon Wireless’ retail presence across the entire fleet of 1,700 company-owned stores.
“At the Verizon Destination Stores, we’ve amped up storytelling by offering compelling merchandise experiences and in-store interactivity that’s integrated with the latest technology,” said Adam Limbach, Vice President, Brand Communications. “The stores feature iconic architecture and unique customer-focused experiences combined with lifestyle merchandising, messaging, and activities that transcend other retail stores and create a true technology experience.”
As with the inaugural Destination Store in Minneapolis, the high-energy stores in Chicago and Houston feature state-of-the art interactive and hands-on digital experiences that help consumers discover devices and smart accessory products that complement their lives. The lifestyle zones offer a 360-degree interactive experience, focusing on a specific lifestyle or area of interest. Thanks to Verizon Wireless’ robust 4G LTE network which covers 98% of the U.S. population, customers can have an enriching experience with their mobile devices, and the environment in the Destination Stores and Verizon’s company owned stores, reflect and tell that story.
“The Chute Gerdeman team, again, has been a great collaborator and helped to deliver strategically sound, innovative and creative solutions for our reinvented retail business experience,” said Domenico D’Ambrosio, Vice President National Operations at Verizon Wireless. “They worked with multiple departments within Verizon and alongside our many external partners in planning and executing this exciting new approach. Throughout the process, their organization and leadership have been exemplary.”
Chicago: A new Magnificent Mile landmark
The Chicago Destination Store, which opened November 15, consists of 10,000-sq. ft. of retail within a four-story, 20,000-sq. ft. building that establishes an impressive presence on the Michigan Avenue retail landscape. To create that prominence, the entire exterior cladding was removed and replaced with a composite black granite panel system and structural glass curtainwall, cementing Verizon’s brand power on one of the world’s premier shopping avenues. The iconic storefront combines visibility into all areas of the store with a powerfully illuminated Verizon brand mark, along with a digital interpretation of the building’s landmark clock atop the facade.
A new three-story atrium provides visitors with breath-taking views of nearby landmarks such as the Hancock Tower and Water Tower Place, and showcases Verizon’s three-story video wall, which serves as a branded digital billboard for Michigan Avenue shoppers.
Throughout the store, Verizon’s vast technology merchandise assortment is highlighted with local Chicago themes paying homage to the city’s unique culture and heritage. “L” train signs and trestles, a Chicago-branded pizza truck and other local touches unify the Verizon Destination Store in its new Windy City home.
Specific areas of interest in the store include a Customize It zone where you can design your phone case and make it even more personalized by using the Photobooth. A massive Get Fit area demonstrates the newest and coolest fitness tracking accessories, App Walls throughout the store give shoppers hints and tips on the newest apps to complement their technology lifestyle, and a Drone Cage allows shoppers to test drive the latest mobile flight products.
Houston: Affluence and industry
Opening Nov. 24, the new two-story store in the Galleria-area Boulevard Place is 12,224 square feet on two levels. Krista Bourne, Verizon’s Houston/Gulf Coast Region president said Houston was chosen for Verizon’s third Destination Store because “it’s a market that embraces technology, it inspires innovation.”
Reflecting the region’s leadership in oil/gas and medicine, the store’s entire second floor highlights Verizon partnerships in these industries. Interactive displays showcase products such as Smart Pumper and SkyEye GPS fleet tracking systems for oil and gas companies, and Toughpad tablets supporting telemedicine.
The store is part of a new retail development that serves as a gateway to Houston’s affluent Galleria/Uptown area. The Verizon branded brightly lit logo sign is prominently centered on the storefront, which features a glass curtainwall and composite black granite panel system.
Local architectural cues include an ornamental stair featuring a local Austin Stone-clad wall.
In addition to these groundbreaking new Destination Stores, Chute Gerdeman continues to partner with Verizon on its ongoing initiative to transform their company-owned retail locations, called Smart Stores, throughout the country. Verizon recognizes the importance of a total-store retail strategy, and continues to lead in all aspects of technology retailing.
For more photos and information check out Destination Verizon.