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Verizon opens local ‘Smart Store’

Melissa Topey • Dec 11, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Verizon Wireless is working to change this as it rolls out half a dozen new “Smart Stores” in Ohio, including one in this area, at 4816 Milan Road. The store opened Monday.

“A Smart Store is about teaching, exploring and learning,” said Travis Lattimore, Verizon district manager.

One of the most exciting changes: free daily classes on how to use an electronic device. Each class is in a workshop area where a Verizon associate can share tips on how to get the most out of a product. A large touch-screen television displays examples and plenty of visuals.

Workshops are scheduled for 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. daily. Each workshop is specific to a product, Desloover said. Space is limited to eight people, and customers are asked to register in the store.

“We are the first Smart Store in Northwest Ohio,” said Scott Desloover, general manager of the store. “It’s all about the customer experience and service.”

The Smart Store in Perkins Township came as the result of an opportunity presented at the right time.

“In some cases, as with Sandusky, we have the opportunity to transition into a larger space, enabling us to incorporate the new Smart Store design, which will maximize our customers’ experience” said Laura Merritt, Verizon Wireless spokeswoman.

The new location doubles the space Verizon had in its previous location.

The Smart Store design features no countertops, effectively cutting down on the space between associates and customers. Associates, with tablets in hand, stand beside customers explaining products and showing them features.

Verizon plans to convert its 1,700 stores into Smart Stores over the next few years.

The store is divided into five zones, with all items in stock:

• “Amplify It” — Desloover calls this “the sound studio,” featuring all things sound, including head phones and speakers.

• “Have Fun” — Otherwise known as the “Toy Zone,” featuring remote control cars, a drone helicopter and other novel tech gadgets.

• “Home on the Go” — Everything a person would need to remotely control their home’s features from a phone or tablet, such as lights, thermostat or a garage door.

• “Home” — Networks, broadband, and even devices to track your pet.

• “Get Fit” — Helps track fitness, health, exercise and such. Devices can be downloaded into a fitness file.

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