above and beyond
Once it was decided that hundreds of T-Mobile stores would undergo a major redesign, the change had to
happen in a flash. “It’s a cultural thing in
the wireless industry,” says William Pretzel,
director of design and construction at
T-Mobile USA, based in Frisco, Texas.
“When an idea happens, the only question
is ‘How soon can we get it launched?’”
A competitive RFP bid resulted in St.
Louis-based Triad Manufacturing taking
on the task of furnishing store fixtures
and millwork for nearly 600 complete store
remodels from April to October 2012.
Pretzel was so impressed by Triad’s first
effort with T-Mobile that he nominated
the fixture manufacturer for a 2013 Above
& Beyond Award, citing the company’s
value-added engineering, logistical competency, and inventive solutions. “It was
a total package of design, fabrication, and
installation services,” he says. Triad even
provided pallet jacks that traveled with the
crews from store to store, which cut costs
because the retailer didn’t need to rent
them. “They treated our money like it was
their money,” he notes.
THE GLOBAL DESIGN CONCEPT
The goal was to seamlessly execute 600
complete store remodels, turning the
retailer’s existing colorful “playground”
ambience into an open and interactive
Euro-sleek global design concept (GDC)
created by T-Mobile’s Germany-based par-
ent company Deutsche Telekom. While the
GDC is the company’s standardized design
on both sides of the ocean, Triad’s input was
pivotal to the stateside project. Provided
with the existing fixture designs, the firm
made value engineering improvements to
materials and finishes. Triad also simplified
the LED focal-point wall, using fewer colors
of LEDs while still creating a perfect match
for T-Mobile’s signature magenta hue.
Triad’s process began with a mock store
constructed at the company’s Missouri
plant, with four walls and POS equipment provided by T-Mobile, says Kristine
Failla, senior account executive for Triad
Manufacturing. The mock-up provided an
opportunity to explore the requirements
and restrictions of integrating the perimeter
system’s electronic infrastructure.
“We completed 600 stores in three
months in groupings of up to 75 stores a
week,” says Failla. She says the company
amped-up warehouse facilities for inventory storage and additional docking door
space for the trucks that would be pulling
in to pick up complete store setups. The
stores would be staged in a queue and then
transported from St. Louis to store locations across the U.S., including Hawaii and
Remodels were completed over con-
secutive nights without ever closing the
stores during regular business hours. This
included general contracting demolition
with flooring changes and fixtures com-
ing out bit by bit to be replaced by the new
technology-heavy fixture packages.
“Timing was critical,” says Failla, who
credits what she calls the company’s “brand
wrap”—including personnel that spanned
the engineering team, customer service
team, and install crews who all worked to
bring about the GDC’s new look.
The project averaged about 30 stores per
week for much of the program, Pretzel says,
noting that his company couldn’t afford
any disruption to the program in terms of
supply, quality, or resources.
Since the first GDC project, Triad has
been awarded projects including Samsung
Galaxy pilot stores with 450 fixtures in
an eight-week timeframe, and fixtures
for T-Mobile’s newest retail focus—the
Go Smart mobile brand.
— By Susan Friedman
Triad was honored as a finalist for helping T-Mobile execute rollout
of global design concept quickly and efficiently
2013 Kudos Went to Eight Companies
St. Louis-based Triad Manufacturing provided fixtures and millwork for T-Mobile’s nearly
600 store remodels in three months.