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Etisalat, the leading telecoms company in the United Arab Emirates, has unveiled a new store concept in Al Ain. Created by multichannel brand agency Start Design Dubai, the new store design re-affirms Etisalat’s position in the market by offering its customers an engaging, enjoyable, contemporary retail experience. Etisalat provides services that let people live a connected life. Its mission is to do this better than anyone else in the market. Etisalat identified the retail channel as pivotal to building relationships, great customer service and a better brand experience. The new store concept strives to deliver this – connecting people’s lives to Etisalat by giving customers improved opportunities to engage with its staff, products and services.

We have taken retail best practice and applied it to the branch environment. New store architecture, customer-focused interactivity, engaging product experiences and a completely new approach to delivering in-branch service via the triage desk, all combine to create a fresh, responsive and enabling experience for Etisalat customers. Featuring an inviting, wide-open façade that draws customers over the threshold, the new store design presents Etisalat’s ‘Life: Connected’ as a series of engaging experiences within a warm, sociable environment. The ‘e-life’ area slows down the pace of the store for customers, allowing them to explore Etisalat’s TV and OnDemand services in the comfort of a ‘home-room’ set. A café-style area with comfortable seating and a long table kitted out with live devices loaded with browsable content, keeps customers entertained and engaged while they wait.

Service is delivered more efficiently via a central triage desk, clearly visible from the exterior, allowing staff to diagnose needs and direct customers to different zones depending on their reason for visiting, streamlining their journey and reducing dwell time. Express consultation areas and self-service points enable staff and customers to quickly and effectively deal with shorter queries, whilst screened service points allow private, longer consultations if needed. Etisalat’s services are presented as mini-experiences via category hotspots, with devices and services presented in the context of how people will use them.

David Judge, Executive Creative Director, Start Design says, “We’ve created a responsive retail experience for Etisalat that will help it meet the future needs of its business and customers. It’s both flexible and scalable – an efficient concept that works across different locations whether a mall, business centre or small kiosk. Digital elements mix seamlessly with the analog environment integrating the store into Etisalat’s ecosystem, and allowing it to shape the store environment around its location and customer profile”. Philip McKinnon, Vice President of Retail Development, Etisalat, says “As part of our transformation strategy we identified our stores as a key channel. We knew if we re-examined them we could not only improve the quality of our customer experience, but also reaffirm Etisalat as an innovative brand. We had a substantial challenge on our hands, but also an exciting opportunity. That’s why we joined hands with Start Design”.

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