Verizon opens local ‘Smart Store’

Most people tap into just a fraction of the full capabilities offered by cell phones, tablets or other gadgets.
Melissa Topey
Dec 11, 2013
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.

Comments

yea right

I get all my phones from Best Buy..their insurance plans cover the phone 100%..NO deductable..

Unassumer

If you're really smart, you will stay away from these surveillance computers, unless of course you don't mind if the government tracks your every move, text, phone call and contacts.

BabyMomma

I had a smart phone for about a year, until I researched exactly what I was agreeing to when I downloaded an app. Go look, they want a LOT more info than they should. Ordered a flip phone off EBay, $40. They want $100 for my phone in Verizon, yet I can have just about any touchscreen for FREE!

BabyMomma

Wasn't talking TO you Unassumer, more like agreeing with you 1000%

Unassumer

we may also not be able to trust our TVs in the future!

Pterocarya frax...

You guys might as well just kill yourselves right now, so you don't have to go on living with all this fear about your phones, tv's, computers. Next it's gonna be they are tracking you through your electrical wires and your 79 Yugo.

mikeylikesit

79 Yugo?

Señor Clown

So, Verizon is trying to find a market in between Radio Shack and Apple stores? A sales pitch disguised as a workshop is still a sales pitch pushing plan upgrades and device contracts.

juggalo7

i see this not lasting

Truth2u

Wish instead they would concentrate on improving their problem with dumping calls into voicemail when circuits are over loaded, or how about fixing the loss call problem on Rt two by the Vermilion rest stop when towers change, or the poor reception south of Huron and by Berlin Hts. I think these are more important than opening a new store to obtain more business, take care of their existing customers first and then go get more business.

bnjjad

Verizon has had these "workshops" for a while, even in the old store. Not sure anybody actually uses them.

I am not going to knock a bigger store though. It seems they always need more room, I remember when it was next to Outback, that was uncomfortable.

Unassumer

Actually Verizon is one of those companies everyone should boycott but won't. Verizon used to do upgrades for free-now it's $30 per phone unless you have an account through UT, then it's $15. They are continually raising prices or adding fees and they do not like complaints. I complained once about megabyte charges for text messages and they had some woman call and tell me I could not complain because I was a member of UT's plan. I would dump the whole thing but it's better than an obama phone I guess. Not sure since I pay about $120 a month for 2 phones that have no data capabilities. At least it's unlimited text messages though and 700 minutes a month shared. I could probably get a better deal thru walmart but don't need or want a smart phone really.

SamAdams

There's another reason to boycott Verizon: An acquaintance of mine worked for Verizon in New England. On his return from a hunting trip out west, he was stopped for speeding in Ohio. No problem, right? Then the Patrol found his guns (all but one in the trunk, ALL unloaded). He was held overnight because of the gun that WASN'T locked up, but no charges were filed (he DID get a speeding ticket), and he made it home the next day.

Still, when his employers learned he'd had guns in his vehicle — on his own time, mind you, on a vacation trip — they summarily fired him, telling him that the guns were NOT okay and using the overnight hold as their "official" reason for terminating his employment.

I heard the whole story from him firsthand. I've boycotted Verizon ever since.

bnjjad

Every post-paid wireless carrier has these fees. T-Mobile is making waves about changing things but the all still have crazy prices and fees.

And your complaint about "no complaining because of UT's plan" i find suspect. It doesn't matter what kind of discount/plan you have, as a paying customer you have the right to discuss complaints with customer service departments or make your voice heard one way or another. I am part of a very large companies plan, and i have made similar complaints just fine and was given credits for the problems.

Baba Booey

Hopefully they can get "Smart Employees" to go with there new store.

Stop It

Best Buy is no better. I went there and was looking at RAM and video cards. I just wanted to see if immediate purchase was better or worth it rather than newegg.com. I found both and the prices really sucked.

But, the story...While I was perusing all the stuff I consider cool, a floor person came up and asked if I needed help. I told him the specifics and he said he'd be right back.

I waited a half hour. He never came back because in my assumption he had no clue WTF I was talking about.

bnjjad

Well, you are going to Best Buy for some pretty specific, technical items that most people in this world don't know the difference between. If you went into Best Buy thinking they would be able to provide info on these (the fact you stepped foot in one at all for these shocks me tbh) you are sorely mistaken.

ohioengineer

Whatever happened to sticking to the basics? Verizon needs to open a store that actually helps their customers deal with everyday problems - not some cutting edge technology that 99% of us will never use. When I traveled to Africa in 2012, Verizon assured me my phone would work. It never did. When I traveled to China this year, I made a special trip to my local Verizon store to insure that the same thing wouldn't happen again. This "cutting edge" company printed out the same tired stuff I could have gotten off line and told me to "suck it up" and figure it out on my own. Go Verizon!

bnjjad

Global roaming is dependent on the phone. Most phones are not capable of global roaming because Verizon was a CDMA based system. With the launch of 4G LTE they are now mostly on a GSM system, however they use different bands then other countries to provide their services. Some phones are global capable, and as they move forward most phones will be. If you are traveling abroad a lot, you are usually better off getting a SIM card from a local national carrier and sticking it in your phone and making sure your phone is global capable. (If your phone has a SIM card)

capcap

I have Straight Talk with Walmart..$50.00 unlimited talk,tex,data..Good for me...

KURTje

Pay someone else to use their phone. (rare need) You can function without one.