20 | www.retailenvironments.org RETAIL ENVIRONMENTS march.2014
hardwood, were used in many fixtures
instead of veneer or laminate, says Sparks
project manager Ed Jankins. For other
fixtures, high-gloss, solid color-core was
chosen for tactile feel and durability. High-gloss granite floor tiles are repeated in the
store facade. Soffits and woodwork glow
with high-gloss lacquer paint.
Verizon’s approach to visual merchandising is also unusual for a technology
company. For example, custom mannequins by Los Angeles-based Greneker sport
connected products and accessories, putting a human face on fitness and business
NE W WAYS TO DO BUSINESS
Verizon’s partnership with Chute Gerdeman expanded beyond the new retail design
concept to include merchandise assortment,
staff training, real estate planning, and
other aspects of Verizon’s retail business.
With help from Chute Gerdeman, the
company completely transformed its
staff training from product-based to life-style-based—focused on better understanding customers and what they need.
To train specialists for the new Mall
of America store, for example, Verizon
brought in athletes to better help the team
understand fitness, as well as gamers and
industry experts in various areas.
Some associates traveled to spend a
few days in the full-scale store mockup in
Sparks’ Philadelphia facility. Others experienced new store elements and fixtures in
other training environments or through
virtual store tours. Chute Gerdeman also
produced videos and detailed playbooks
that describe everything required to display products and keep the store looking
fresh and clean.
In addition to watching actual sales figures, the company monitors a variety of
“listening posts” including NPS analysis,
says D’Ambrosio. (NPS, or Net Promoter
Score, monitors loyalty to a brand or company rather than satisfaction with a particular product or transaction.) Chute
Gerdeman helps the company sort through
the data and aggregate it to identify the
aspects that can drive effective changes
What’s next? The stores will continue to
evolve, and ideas are still being refined in
the mock store. The Smart store concept
has already opened more than 100 stores
across the country and plans an aggressive
schedule for the near future. Destination
stores in Houston and on Chicago’s
Michigan Avenue are scheduled to open
Verizon Destination Store
| Mall of America, Minneapolis
Retailer: Verizon, Basking Ridge, N.J.
Chute Gerdeman, Columbus, Ohio
Fixture contractor: Sparks, Philadelphia
Furniture/upholstery: Aceray, Cincinnati;
All Modern, Boston; Allermuir, Maumee,
Ohio; Barn Light Electric, Titusville, Fla.;
Davis Furniture, High Point, N.C.; Design
Within Reach, Stamford, Conn.; Donghia,
Milford, Conn.; HBF Furniture, Hickory, N.C.;
Knoll Textiles, East Greenville, Pa.; Modern
In Designs, Flushing, N. Y.
Flooring: Architectual Systems Inc., New
York ; Patcraft, Centersville, Ga.
; Shaw Contract Group, Dalton, GA
; Porcelanosa Group, Pittsburgh
Graphics/signage: Duggal Visual Solutions
Inc., New York; Gabel Signs, Baltimore
Laminate: Wilsonart, Temple, Texas
Lighting design: 37 Volts Light Studio,
Lighting: Wiedenbach Brown, Yorba Linda,
Calif.; Jesco, Glendale, N. Y. (specialty LED
Mannequins: Greneker, Los Angeles
Metalwork: McNichols, Tampa, Fla.
Millwork: Pioneer Millworks, Portland, Ore.
Paints/coatings: BTD Wood Powdercoating,
Brainerd, Minn. ; Koroseal, Columbus,
Ohio; The Sherwin Williams Co., Cleveland
; Tiger Drylac, St. Charles, Ill. ;
Plastics: Lucite Lux, Cordova, Tenn.
Stone/tile: TerraCore, Dallas; Hamilton
Parker, Columbus, Ohio
Walls: Armstrong, Lancaster, Pa., (wall
panels, molding) ; Elite Xpressions
(wall panel, molding), Corpus Christi, Texas;
DL Couch, New Castle, Ind. (wall treatment);
GLV Co., West Jordan, Utah (panels/molding)
; Wolf Gordon, Long Island City, N. Y.
(wall treatment); Megawall, Comstock Park,
Technology: AKQA, New York (technology,
audiovisual); McCann Systems, Earth City,
Mo. (technology, audiovisual); X20 Media,
Montreal (technology, systems)
Security devices: InVue Security,
The design elements in the Destination store are custom fabricated, with a focus on high-end
materials and finishes such as real wood and solid color-core materials on fixtures and surfaces.