From Broadcast Newsroom:
The CEO of Circuit City Stores pitched cable-operator partnerships here, describing the concept stores the retailer is testing in partnership with companies including Comcast and Ethan Allen furniture stores in an effort to provide a more complete customer experience.
Phil Schoonover told the CTAM Summit audience that the multiple truck rolls caused by the average electronics partnership is not good for the consumer or provider. With partnerships, Circuit City associates could sell entertainment and HDTV sources in the store with the hardware and the retailer's service division, firedog, could provide the installation and help, he added.
Circuit City wants a seamless multiplatform buying experience for consumers, 70% of whom now start their buying experience with research or ordering on the retailer's Web site, he said.
Concept stores include "The City" in Virginia. Schoonover demonstrated a customer experience where a buyer is approached by a sales associate with a tablet PC. The associate uses the computer to hone in on the buyer's needs: Which room will house the TV? Where will the hardware be placed? The PC enables the associate to sketch the room, placing furniture and determining what type of TV is best: LCD in Schoonover's case, due to bright daylight in the room.