Sneak Peek: Rogers New Retail Store In Toronto [UPDATED]
Tonight I had the chance to get a sneak peek of Rogers new retail store which is located at 764 Yonge St. in downtown Toronto. Here’s what the store looks like from the outside:
Okay. So it looks like any other store on Yonge St. That’s okay because the real story is inside. First of all, the store is very open. It’s very similar to the Apple Store. But to say that Rogers copied the Apple Store layout is simplistic. First of all, the featured items that are new and cool are just past the entrance:
The majority of the displays are against the walls of the stores such as what’s illustrated in this picture:
Not only that, Rogers has got areas for you to sit and work as well as interact with your friends:
There’s also areas with computers that presumably have been set up to let customers do things check their e-mail and the like. They weren’t running tonight so I cannot be sure. But I heard that the computers do run Windows.
My personal opinion is that customers will find the environment inviting and welcoming. Products are available for people to touch and try and something that I found to be unique is that the phones that were on display were largely working models as opposed to being markups. That’s a nice touch.
Speaking of phones, I got the chance to try out two phones while I was there. The first was the HTC One X:
This phone has a stunning screen and has a pretty impressive user interface. I didn’t get a chance to try it, but the audio was done by Beats Audio which should be great. The phone is exclusive to Rogers and if Rogers wanted to score some points with me, they could send one my way for review.
The other phone that I saw was the Samsung Galaxy Note:
Is it a tablet? Is it a phone? All I can say is that it’s smaller than I expected. The display is nice and it seems speedy. Rogers would do well to hook me up with this phone for review as well.
Back to the store. One other thing I should note is that the store has free WiFi available (though you only get an hour of use, but if you need more than an hour of Internet use you should go find yourself an Internet Cafe and pay for Internet access).
The store opens on Friday morning and this is going to be the template for Rogers stores all over Canada. So if you don’t live in Toronto, this retail store layout will be coming to a Rogers store near you soon.
My take? It’s a winner.
UPDATED: Rogers reached out to me to clarify what the function of the computers that I mentioned in my post were intended for:
I see you noticed our computer areas and I wanted to provide you with a bit more detail on that particular feature of our new store concept. These are areas where customers can sit down with a representative and discuss their account and service needs. The tables are round to encourage open conversation and the computer screens swivel so that customers can see what the rep sees, which will help them better understand what is being discussed. The whole concept is about community and providing our customers with a one-stop, integrated experience for all their hardware and service needs, including cable, internet and wireless.