2021 Retail Renovation Competition – First Place: “T-Mobile Plano Store”
New concept from telecom company conveys a hospitality vibe
Conversion: Specialty Store, Sales Area Under 10,000 Square Feet
Submitted by: IA Interior Architecture
Scope of Work: Design and deliver a new store concept across multiple formats. The Plano Experience Store, in a former restaurant site, is the first effort and acts as a customer-first, occasion-based shopping platform.
Project Goals: IA Architecture and T-Mobile’s in-house team created a store in which consumers can engage with the brand on their terms. “The store is divided into zones, focusing on the shopping occasions of discovery, service, community, instant gratification, and convenience,” says IA Design Director Ron Singler. “Experience stores are typically lhave the goal of enabling exploration, experience and connection between consumers, T-Mobile experts and products.”
Unique Challenges: For the Plano store, IA and T-Mobile’s team transformed what was a space housing a Mexican eatery into a modern, technology-forward environment. This included re-cladding the entire façade and completely gutting and rebuilding the interior (floors, walls, ceiling, and replacing all of the systems).
What sets the project apart: A dramatic departure from the glossy white stores of T-Mobile’s past, this new concept is purposely more warm, textural and inviting with residential-inspired touches and thoughtful details that convey a hospitality vibe. “The materials palette of natural woods, soft upholstery, felt surfaces and textural carpeting creates a comfortable, approachable environment to make customers feel at home in contrast to the highly machined tech devices and products,” says Singler.
The revitalized exterior, newly clad in Italian porcelain tile, includes a two-story dual-entry vestibule with full-height digital panels that prominently showcase the brand’s magenta glow. Unique to this store – and adding to its allure – is an outdoor patio with seating, video screen and classic analog games.
PHOTO GALLERY (9 IMAGES) | Photography: Wade Trenbeath, Seattle
Embracing Whole-Brained Thinking in the Design Journey
Strategy needs creative, and creative needs strategy—yep, having both is really the only way of unifying all disciplines with a common vernacular with an eye toward building a strong creative vision that is foundational to the processes. Hear from Bevan Bloemendaal, former VP, Global Environments & Creative Services at Timberland, how to connect the dots between disciplines, claiming and creating a clear differentiation for the brand and ensuring that any asset (experience, product, ad, store, office, home, video, game) is created with intention.
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