BUSINESS

Rogers shows off new model for retail stores, to be rolled out in 6 provinces

05/17/2012 01:52 EDT | Updated 07/17/2012 05:12 EDT
TORONTO - As the last of its DVD rentals are sold off, Rogers is showcasing the new design of its retail stores, which the company says will provide a more tailored service to customers.

The telecom giant held a tour of its concept store in downtown Toronto on Thursday, a location that will serve as the new look for many other stores across the country.

While at first glance the store might appear quite like the others, it's the smaller details that are noticeably different.

On the surface, for example, the company is ditching the "Rogers Plus" name that adorned the hybrid locations that combined DVD and cable TV services.

Now its stores will simply be known as Rogers.

Vice president of retail, Sian Doyle, was brought on two years ago after serving in a similar role at U.K. telecom operator Orange and before that in various positions at Walmart overseas.

"My job was to basically transform and renovate our stores to reflect what we require for retail for the next five years," she said of her role at Rogers.

"We know ... that customers are downloading onto their tablets, they're actually watching content on their devices, and the way they consume the products, with PVRs and on demand, is really changing."

The new layout gives customers more one-on-one services and a broader line of telecommunications products, Doyle said as she toured the location, which offers plenty of open space.

Some of the perks include free Wi-Fi, a charging bar for mobile phones, a wall of Rogers magazines and toys to entertain kids while their parents shop. A communal table and benches are intended to give customers a place to convene and chat with staff and other Rogers subscribers.

Rogers stores — many of them once home to DVD rentals — have been shedding the physical media inventory over the past month through fire sales.

The plan is for some of those former rental stores to downsize their floorspace, while others will become two separate stores: one which is focused on Rogers products and another that specializes in the company's discount mobile phone brand Fido.

Other former video stores will relocate to smaller spaces, Doyle said.

Rogers anticipates the new design will rollout across six provinces this year, including Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec, and Saskatchewan.

Next in line is a location in Vancouver that will open its doors later this month, and a Winnipeg store that's slated to begin operating in August.