Verizon’s retail facelift: New destination stores will showcase the internet of things

Verizon Wireless(s vz)(s vod) unveiled its new destination store concept on Tuesday in the Mall of America in Minneapolis, showing off a massive floorspace more akin to an Apple(s aapl) store than a carrier’s usually cramped retail accommodations. What’s most striking about the new format is how phones take a backseat to a variety of internet of things gadgets and peripherals on display. Verizon EVP and COO Marni Walden said the new stores are meant to highlight all the objects and apps its network can connect both directly and indirectly. Verizon will be opening up several more of them starting in Chicago (perhaps not coincidentally where AT&T’s(s t) first showcase store is located).

AT&T opens first showcase store in Chicago

AT&T is opening its first “experiential” showcase in Chicago. While technically the flagship retail location on Michigan Avenue is a store, it’s not like any AT&T store you’ve ever seen before. Instead of making the AT&T phones the prime draw, it’s showing off the apps within.

Is the future of retail showrooming?

As if we needed more evidence that brick and mortar stores are at a crossroads, a study out Tuesday from Paris-based consulting firm CapGemini found that more than half of shoppers globally said they think more physical stores will become merely showrooms by 2020.

The coffee shop is the future of . . . well, everything

The argument that work is increasingly untethered from the office and will take place more and more in coffee shop–type environments is pretty common, but one futurist is taking “coffeeshopification” a step further, claiming that universities and retail stores will resemble coffee shops as well.

Apple Retail 2.0 First Impressions and Video

After reading Darrell’s excellent appraisal of Apple’s new retail model, I had to run out and see fit for myself. After all, 10 years ago Apple’s minimalist approach was unusual and out of step. Is Apple Retail 2.0 a step forward, or a step back?

Apple to Open New Retail Store in Paris

According to reports today on ifoAppleStore and French mac site MacPlus, Paris is getting a new Apple (s aapl) retail store before the end of the year.

apple-store-paris

The Carousel du Louvre retail store has been adorned with banner graphics depicting the iconic colours and white click-wheel design of the iPod Nano. The largest of the banners reads “Apple Store Carousel du Louvre. Bientôt.” (For those of us who don’t speak French, “Bientôt” means “shortly” or “in the near future”.)

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that the graphic resembles the famous La Pyramide Inversée (The Inverted Pyramid), a giant skylight in the shopping mall at the Louvre Museum. ifoAppleStore cites “a tipster” who said that in 2007, Steve Jobs himself said a store would open in Paris that same year.

OK, so, maybe it’s a little late. But combined with the Windows 7 Café, this does – finally – give me a good reason to visit Paris.

Photo courtesy of MacPlus