By Claire Reilly
Australia has long been familiar with the Apple Store concept, but as of last Friday, consumers in Melbourne will now be able to get their Android retail fix too thanks to a new dedicated Telstra-Android shopfront in the CBD.
Androidland is billed by Telstra as a “world-first store within a store that showcases the latest Android smartphones and tablets,” – a 154 square metre space that has been built inside Telstra’s flagship retail shopfront in Melbourne’s Bourke Street. According to Telstra Mobile executive director, Warwick Bray, this new Android experience has been designed (in conjunction with Google) to meet consumer demand.
“Over the past 12 months we’ve seen a huge growth in the number of customers coming in-store and asking us about Android phones and tablets,” said Bray. “With Androidland we wanted to create a retail environment like no other that helps us to answer customer questions in a fun, interactive way.
“The result is a world-first collaboration that goes beyond conventional product displays by allowing visitors to get hands on with a range of popular mobile services and apps found on Android devices.
“From the moment customers walk through the doors of Androidland they’ll be transported into an immersive retail environment that’s as much about having fun as it is about researching your next phone,” he said.
The decidedly space-aged Androidland will feature retail experiences such as an Android spaceship with interactive games and a Google Earth fly-through, a play zone with an Android skill tester and virtual library, and 24 x 9 metre window display with an augmented reality game for consumers to play.
Similar to the ‘geniuses’ that offer tech advice in Apple stores, Androidland will also feature a team of dedicated Android experts (trained by Google) that will be on hand to offer help with setting up Google accounts and making Android Market purchases of apps.
This new retail concept is the latest in a series of innovation in the retail space, including JB Hi-Fi’s brand-focused concept store and the Dick Smith’s total store rebranding that has rolled out over the past months.
The Melbourne Androidland store is opening just in time for the Christmas retail surge, and the global director of Android Partnerships, John Lagerling, said the store was a great way to cater to Christmas shoppers.
“Australians have gone crazy for smartphones over the last year, and we estimate that each month, hundreds of thousands of Australians buy a smartphone,” said Lagerling. “Chances are that a smartphone is on the Christmas list of someone you love, and Telstra’s Androidland has plenty of ideas and tips.”