The future is now in La Grange—at least as far as AT&T is concerned.
All AT&T stores nationwide are expected to follow the model of the shop that opens its doors Thursday in the corner of the old Borders building on La Grange Road.
The store, which has been shrouded in secrecy for the past few months, is the first in the U.S. designed under the new concept. It's intended to demonstrate how the company’s products integrate into customers’ lifestyles, said David Fine, vice president and general manager of AT&T Illinois.
AT&T chose La Grange for the redesign’s debut largely because of timing, he said.
“We were in the process of making a relocation,” said Fine, referencing the store across the street at 34 N. La Grange Road. “… The new design was complete, and we were fortunate to bring the first of its kind to La Grange.”
The company plans to open 15 to 20 more stores across the country this year using the same model.
Some aspects of the La Grange store will be familiar to customers who have recently visited AT&T shops on Michigan Avenue and in Arlington Heights, both of which served as testing grounds.
Several stations—or as AT&T calls them, “lifestyle vignettes”—showcase products in surroundings that evoke a kitchen or living room, Fine said. They’re similar to displays used in the Michigan Avenue store.
“When you think of technology, we know it’s intimidating,” he said. “We want to create a warm, welcoming environment for people to explore how technology can improve their life.”
People can interact with items before they buy them by blasting music on miniature speakers or unlocking a door via smart phone.
There are also café-like tables where employees can teach customers how to use their new devices.
“Everything we’re doing with this store is with the customer in mind,” Fine said.
AT&T opens Thursday at 1 N. La Grange Road. Store hours are 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.