Orlando

Gone are the sterile looking white-washed stores with vast open expanses so overwhelming you feel compelled to pack and bag and hire a sherpa, as AT&T begins to redesign their stores to give it a more comfortable feel, complete with demonstration “community” tables, as AT&T calls them, you get a feel of a spacious yet modern home somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.

I always felt a bit underdressed walking into the older AT&T stores that almost seems to mimic an apple store, with a white-washed look, where every misplaced spec showed up to make the place look dirty.  Everything was positioned around the outer wall so it could have electrical connections, but in the process, it created some pretty large open spaces in the middle.

After you’d check in, you sometimes felt like the Lewis & Clark expedition as you crossed the store to have a seat on the couch to watch AT&T’s U-verse® and watch the screen showing your position in line.

Recently I visited the new AT&T store or the “store of the future” as employees call it, at Waterford Lakes, in Orlando, FL.  I’d have to say it felt more pleasing, with community tables, and demonstration areas all over, one could easily waste half a day playing with all the gadgets on display.

They’ve created a display/conversation piece to showcase their speakers, headphones and other audio offerings that you can try out, added a U-verse® home theater system with a sound shower.

Directional speakers that only allow you to hear the audio when you’re in a specific place, such as your couch, mini offices to work with small businesses, and they’ve done away with fixed POS systems.

Now an AT&T rep can help you and cash you out just about anywhere you’re standing in the store.

AT&T is also branching out into home security systems, and affordable GPS tracking services to keep tabs on your little ones.  Both have their respective display areas showcasing neat, useful and accessible products.

The downside?  Well, more info about a device at each display could be useful, but that also robs AT&T of the chance to explains things more in-depth and make a sale.

Note: The new AT&T store was photographed on April 19, 2014, with permission from AT&T.

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