Verizon asks, want a drone with that phone?

ITworld | Apr 28, 2015

Verizon Wireless' new Boston destination store sells 1,700 products, many of which aren't smartphones.


Verizon Wireless is hoping the next time you walk into one of its destination stores you walk out with more than just a phone or a tablet. It's the company's 4th such store in the US. It opened in Boston following ones in Minneapolis, Chicago and Houston. The new 8,000 square foot store replaces the 1,800 square foot traditional store that used to be in the same location in Boston's upscale Back Bay neighborhood.

As Verizon Wireless faces more competition on pricing, service plans and devices, its trying to drive incremental revenue with add ons and accessories.

The updated store displays devices along touch screen walls where consumers can learn more about features and prices.

The store sells a wide variety of cases, but if you buy from the store you'll be paying a premium versus ordering it online from sites like Amazon.

In addition to the core smartphones and tablets, the store includes several other distinct sections. The first section focuses on audios, featuring a wall of more than 120 wireless Bose speakers.

There's a sports and wearable zone where you can test out fitness trackers on an exercise bike. There's also a connected soccer ball from Adidas that will give you feedback on its flight and how hard it was kicked.

The home zone includes smartphone controllable lighting and the Kevo door lock from Kwikset, which unlocks with a tap when your paired smartphone is on you.

There's also a small business zone and an education area where customers can take classes to learn about their devices.

While Verizon Wireless holds first place in the US wireless market with about 111 million subscribers AT&T is in second with about 85 million according to IDC. The companies need to work hard to differentiate themselves and while Verizon may have done so with this store, AT&T has built a similar store about a block away.

In Boston, Nick Barber, IDG News Service.