AT&T Opens Huge Digitally Enhanced Chicago Store

10,000-square-foot shop focuses on technology and lifestyle

AT&T’s newest retail endeavor is almost the complete opposite of the currently en vogue here today, gone tomorrow pop-up stores. On Saturday, the telecom giant will open a 10,000-square-foot shop in Chicago that will include a litany of digital bells and whistles.

The store will entail 100 digital screens showcasing items from the brand and its numerous product partners. AT&T will push its Digital Life line of home security products while showcasing a wireless-connected Nissan car with apps meant to help drivers navigate the road. The facility will include a section dedicated to technology, including an “apps wall,” as well as showcases devoted to lifestyle areas such as fitness, family and art.

"Because it's a brand store, we wanted to pivot away from the typical fashion in which we've been engaging customers," Gregg Heard, vp of brand identity and design for the brand, told Adweek. "This store is going to help us tell a bigger story about AT&T. It's going to be less about the devices and more about the technology."

Chicago consumers can expect to see ads to promote the shop in local print, radio and online channels, an AT&T rep said.

Could the store—located in the Windy City's Magnificent Mile neighborhood—serve as a pilot program that expands to other markets? Maybe, Heard said. "Some of the executional and technological elements could be replicated in other locations," he said. "But we haven't committed to that yet."

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.