Verizon Wireless' Fort Wayne Store is the first "Smart Store" in Indiana: Where Businesses and Consumers Have Customizable Options

Kyle Niederpruem, Kyle Communications

Verizon Wireless has taken the customer experience to the next level with its newly designed “Smart Stores” by providing additional ways to make shopping for wireless more engaging, more personalized and more streamlined for customers.

The company unveiled its first “Destination Store” in 2014 at The Mall of America in Minnesota. The initiative, combined with the redesign of 1,700 company-owned retail stores during the next few years such as the Fort Wayne “Smart Store,” represents a fresh retail approach focused on mobile lifestyles.

“Smart Stores” showcase Verizon’s 4G LTE network and the various ways that wireless technology can be incorporated into a customer’s business and lifestyle needs, preferences and desires. “As wireless technology evolves, we want to help educate customers about all that wireless technology can do for them as well as make our business more personalized and streamlined,” said Pat Lewis, Verizon’s director of sales for Indiana, Michigan and Kentucky.

Lewis said Indiana’s first “Smart Store” in Fort Wayne is geared to showcase mobile lifestyles, such as fitness or music-focused lifestyles, and the devices and accessories that make these lifestyles a reality.

Fort Wayne, a city continuing on the path of cutting innovation in the northeast corner of the state, is home to one of only two “Smart Stores” in the state of Indiana. The other is in Terre Haute.

The Verizon “Smart Store” at 4602 Illinois Road features many of the devices showcased in the Innovation Home Gallery constructed by Granite Ridge Builders. Prices of the smart home devices range from $34.99 to $249.99. Some require installation, such as the Nest Home Thermostat, and some are just as simple to use as plugging into a wall and downloading an app — such as the Belkin WeMo Insight Switch.

“The Innovation Home Gallery was a perfect partnership for us to share and showcase how Verizon Wireless smart home devices work,” Lewis said. “Everything from remote-controlled sump pumps to energy-efficient lighting systems can be controlled by a smartphone or tablet.”

Consumers are demanding smart home features and efficiencies, including helping with security.

According to GreenTechGrid.com, the ability to monitor a home while away ranks as the second most appealing feature of home automation, while cutting costs and lowering energy bills ranks third, right above general convenience and protection against fires, floods and other emergencies.

A large majority of homeowners, nearly 70 percent, “wish they could just control something in their home from their mobile device without getting out of bed.”

Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they would like to monitor their children coming home from school, for instance, and more than half admit that they frequently forget to turn off the lights, lock the doors or reset the thermostats when they leave home, making a case for simple “home vs. away” settings that can take care of those tasks, and maybe save some energy at the same time.

Verizon’s smart home devices can match all those needs — and then some.

“Smart Store” Manager Jason Wagner said his retail specialists can often match devices to a homeowner’s needs. The Fort Wayne “Smart Store” also offers pop-up workshops for anyone who wants an in-store tutorial on how to use a device. “Our staff is trained to share tips for beginners to the most sophisticated of tech users,” Wagner said.

For more information about Verizon Wireless 4G LTE devices, read the Verizon Wireless Midwest Area Blog and click on “Reviews” from the main menu. Tech bloggers and other users from 15 states in the Midwest share their thoughts and mobile usage tips on all manner of devices that work on Verizon’s award-winning 4G LTE network.

Verizon’s network service in Indiana was also recognized this year by J.D. Power and Associates and RootMetrics. Both provided top scores to Verizon Wireless for performance in Fort Wayne and the state of Indiana.

For more information about Verizon Wireless products, visit Verizon Wireless company-owned retail stores at 4602 Illinois Road and 4122 Lima Road in Fort Wayne. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Extended holiday hours begin this November.