design:retail - July 2017 - 14
we love this!
THE "UN-CARRIER" ATTITUDE
ONG CONSIDERED a renegade in the wire-
less world, Bellevue, Wash.-based T-Mobile
recently enhanced its "un-carrier" status
by unveiling four new flagship destination stores.
Since January 2016, these signature stores have
popped up in New York, Chicago, Miami and Santa
Monica, Calif. While each is distinctly T-Mobile
and gives a freshly immersive experience into the
brand, each location also celebrates its home city.
To ensure the stores showcased everything
that T-Mobile has to offer, the company partnered
with Cincinnati-based FRCH Design Worldwide.
"They're not a timid brand, and that's what you
love about them-the 'un-carrier' attitude," explains
Robyn Novak, vice president and creative managing
director at FRCH.
At 9,500 sq. ft., the Chicago outpost is the largest signature store so far, which is fitting in an urban
setting known as the birthplace of the skyscraper. A
30-ft. vestibule facing Michigan Avenue acts as a digital portal into the rest of the store, where customers
are enveloped in LED screens. The high-tech action
continues inside with more LED graphics lining the
walls, as well as LED totems for wayfinding that can
easily be updated. In addition, a high vaulted ceiling
and club-like lighting suit the scale of the store.
At the signature stores, virtual reality technology is taking center stage at the moment, adding
to the novelty of visiting the new flagships. Similar
design elements are seen at all four stores, but with
key differences. The Times Square location takes
advantage of its corner lot, and integrates the digital from the outside in. The store in Miami Beach
is much smaller, but has an Art Deco façade that
fits right in. And the most recent addition in Santa
Monica eschews a flashy storefront to blend in with
its laid-back California surroundings.
"T-Mobile has done a great job of being flexible in
each space," Novak says. "Technology changes every
day, so merchandise changes at a moment's notice.
They are evolving and showing projects that will be
part of everyone's connected life." - Erin M. Loewe
Photos by RAZORFISH