RealTime IT News

Verizon Hits The Mall

Verizon Communications  will showcase its high-end services in consumer malls, sharing retail space with standbys such as clothing stores and ice cream shops.

Known as the Verizon Experience, the stores are intended to let Verizon give consumers a way to explore technology, including EV-DO , wireless and FiOS TV service.

Verizon Store
Part of the Verizon Experience.
Source: Verizon

The mall stores will be a place where consumers "can lay their hand on products," Verizon spokesman Harry Mitchell told internetnews.com. But what spells success for the marketing tactic remains unclear. "We'll look at it and see if it works," he added.

The outlets are what Verizon calls a "natural progression" of other experiments it has made to create buzz for its services, including tents at concerts, kiosks, and even hiring ice cream trucks to ring the praise of the carrier's service.

Verizon picked two areas with well-developed FiOS markets -- Fairfax, Va., and Dallas, Texas -- to launch the concept, which includes a demo bar where customers get one-on-one interaction with Verizon devices, interactive FiOS demonstrations, a high-definition FiOS viewing area, a concierge desk, interactive kiosks and a gaming area.

FiOS is now available in nine states and claims 117,000 subscribers, according to Mitchell.

The stores could help Verizon sells more Internet TV services if consumers can interactively explore IPTV's features, Nicole Klein, a Yankee Group analyst, said.

Several others, including Apple, have adopted the mall as a platform for products. Apple has 147 stores worldwide hawking computers and iPod music players. However, Verizon said it was taking cues from no one else.