Orange is about to open a "digital playground" flagship store in Milton Keynes, offering early access to Motorola's DEXT handset and a bouncy floor among other delights.
Flagship stores are nothing new, but Orange reckons it's outdone the competition by providing cinema-style seating for the 70-inch screen showing adverts for information about multimedia services offered by the Orange group, and inviting locals to contribute to the "what symbolises Milton Keynes" photograph pool. We're more taken with the promised bouncy floor, which fails to feature in the remarkably dry video promoting the store:
Mobile operators know well that customers will use more features on their handset if they're shown how to do so - the problem has always been the disconnect between retail and operational arms of the operators. Shops want to sell handsets quickly, and gain nothing from talking customers through using MMS or similar; operators have mucked about with bonuses based on premium-service usage, but that's hard to track and monitor so has rarely worked.
The other option is to put operations staff into shops, but that's also fraught with political problems.
Which explains Orange's enthusiasm for their "one-of-a-kind concept store", which was "designed specifically to encourage ‘engagement’ between consumers and the incredible range of multimedia technology that is available through Orange".
The store, complete with bouncy floor, is in thecentre:mk, and will be open from 3pm Tuesday. ®