MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Just in time for the holidays, a new kind of store is opening at the Mall of America. Earlier Tuesday, Verizon Wireless unveiled what it calls its first “Destination Store.”
The store opens Wednesday night and replaces the old Verizon store on the second floor of the mall. But you’ll notice a dramatic change.
First of all, it’s 10 times bigger. And the new store allows customers to use what are called interactive zones — to try mobile devices in a real-life setting.
At first, it’s overwhelming. More than 7,000 square feet devoted to showcasing technology.
“This store is going to give our customers the opportunity to demonstrate, and touch and feel, the gadgets and devices they’ve heard about, they may have seen on shelves in different stores,” said Seamus Hyland, Verizon regional president.
Verizon is trying to give shoppers ideas on how to expand their mobile lifestyles.
You can experiment with devices and apps, in a variety of areas of interest.
Music lovers can compare the sound quality of different brands of headphones.
“So a lot of different options to tie in what fits your needs,” said Ryan Malmquist, Verizon store manager.
Those who love to walk or run or bike, will find plenty to explore, as well.
“Right now, I am demonstrating the Fit Bit. What this does is track my steps as I walk throughout the day. It will also calculate my calories that I burn,” Malmquist said.
There’s even a model smart home that shows you what’s now possible thanks to technology.
“The light switch down in the bottom there, but also the plug-in. I would be able to start or stop or activate those things from a smart phone, on the go,” he said.
And then there are the accessories, like customized smartphone cases created right in the store.
All you have to do is pick your favorite photo from your phone or a social media site.
“You can edit it, and actually we make it on-site, to allow you walk out of here with a new case, before you leave the mall today,” Malmquist said.
The new Verizon store at Mall of America opens to the public Wednesday at 7 p.m.
The store announced that singer Selena Gomez will be the very first shopper there.
She’s holding a private shopping event with a handful of her fans before it officially opens.
Gomez is in concert at Target Center on Thursday night.