When the time comes to upgrade your phone, you're likely to head down to your local wireless carrier store to try out the latest hardware. The experience isn't particularly thrilling, as most wireless carrier stores look the same: the perimeter is adorned with phones, many of which aren't live demo units. Then, when it's time to make a purchase or get an answer to a question, you're likely to spend time waiting for an employee to finish with another customer before attending to your needs, which can often take up to an hour in some of the smaller, higher-traffic stores.
Verizon, perhaps borrowing a page from Apple's book, hopes to redo its retail experience from the ground up. This morning Verizon Wireless will unveil their first concept store, dubbed "Evolution 2.0", in Toms River, NJ. The facility will feature a large 3,100 square foot sales area, where customers can demo the latest phone, tablet, and wireless data products in a brightly-lit environment with hardwood floors, tan walls, and numerous white island tables with barstools for demoing devices comfortably. To allay the issue of not having enough employees on-hand to keep waiting times to a minimum, the Evolution 2.0 store will be fully staffed with 21 full time employees. The store will also feature a paperless environment, with digital receipts and product brochures offered. There will even be workshops for those wanting to get the most our of their new wireless devices. Being a concept store, it's possible that there might never be another one like it, but if proven successful, it's possible that Verizon will roll out additional Evolution 2.0 stores in the future.
See the below pictures for a look at the transformation of the Toms River, NJ location. The first image is from before the renovations.
Photos Copyright 2012 Gruskin Architecture + Design, P.C./Boris Zlotsky