We popped into the new O2 concept store at Westfield White City this week to see if it lives up to its claim of ‘rewriting the rule book’ in mobile retailing. And yes, it certainly does!
First things first – an ‘inspire zone’, an area which showcases a different technology each month. February is all about fitness, and features a treadmill, wearables and fitness apps. Get on, go for a jog and see how it all comes together.
Promotions and product info are kept to an absolute minimum and the store has a relaxed vibe with chill-out areas, magazines, an O2 Guru bar and the latest Priority gigs listed on the back wall. There’s also an impressive ‘localisation’ London skyline projection along the back wall.
The emphasis is clearly on experience – getting customers to engage with new tech and the O2 brand, as opposed to simply coming in to buy a new phone every twelve months.
It’ll be interesting to see how long this approach can last given the competitive nature of the mobile market. But perhaps this store will rely on its sister shop on the floor below with its usual volume of value comms to fulfill commercial objectives, leaving this one to behave as a more experiential, brand immersion showroom.
What impressed us the most however, wasn’t the sexy fixtures or the cool layout, but the genuine enthusiasm from the staff. It’s immediately obvious they’ve been trained with a totally different approach to the ‘sell, sell, sell’ traditionally used in this sector. They were relaxed, non sales-y and happy to chat about tech. We even got offered a cuppa and a hug!