With so much commerce moving online, rumors of the retail store’s demise have been greatly exaggerated according to AT&T. The carrier plans to add 1,000 additional AT&T retail stores to its footprint, making it one of the fastest growing retail footprints in America.
AT&T cites the purchasing process as key to growing the AT&T retail stores footprint. Most customers begin researching online, but then come into a store to purchase, the carrier noted in a press release. AT&T currently operates 5,300 retail stores.
Different types of stores featuring different buying experiences are a part of this expansion plan. For example, AT&T plans to open 100 “pop-up” stores this year, which are small stores located in apartment buildings and other dense urban environments. Pop-ups can be up and running within 60 days of signing a lease.
AT&T also plans on doing more mobile stores, including in new markets where the carrier is launching AT&T Fiber. Smaller market stores are also part of the AT&T retail stores strategy, with some of the new locations tied to FirstNet, AT&T’s joint effort with the U.S. government for a nationwide public safety network.
“We’re working to make our customer interactions more convenient and seamless,” said Rasesh Patel, senior executive vice president of AT&T Digital, Retail & Care in a press release. “We designed our new stores to get you in and out quickly while you’re on the go, so you can enjoy more of your thing.”
AT&T is also working to integrate the retail experience into a broader omnichannel experience, where you can start a transaction, say online, and finish it anywhere else on their network, including a store, the company noted.