Comcast may not be historically thought of as a retailer — it is much better known for the cable and internet services it provides — but, despite that fact, the brand is looking to stage a major make-over to its retail operations.
The company is now looking to offer a place where customers can come, get a cup of coffee, and play with all the latest-and-greatest gadgets on offer — apparently because being a "hated" cable company is not the reputation it wants to have. The brand is hoping a better meet-and-greet place will help build a healthy and happy relationship with its many customers.
These stores, according to Comcast, are coming soon to malls and shopping centers nationwide, eating up some of the empty retail space that other brands — abandoning the mall — have left vacant and ripe for the picking. The stores will have a decidedly Apple Store vibe about them, with sleek design meant to direct customers to experience gadgets as it sells goods and services.
Comcast customers will also be able to use the storefronts to take care of routine tasks, such as paying bills or swapping out equipment at the new stores — they won't have to find an out-of-the-way location.
So far, the stores have opened in a handful of U.S locations with plans to open more than 50 additional stores this year. The end goal is to have a 15-minute drive from every Comcast customer. Neil Saunders, managing director of retail consultancy GlobalData, says it's a smart move.
"Customers spend a lot on cable and internet services, so being able to try out products and services in a high-quality environment is appreciated,'' Saunders says. "The days of getting away with a shabby service desk in a dimly-lit unit have long since gone."