Phones 4u opens 10 UK concept stores to test the waters on selling smart and wearable tech

Phones4U has embarked on a smart and wearable tech trial in an effort to test consumer appetite for emerging smart technology.

The announcement comes after the brand's marketing director, Ben Padley, told The Drum that despite the wearable category being of interest to consumers, driven by products like Google Glass, no one has created a great shopping experience and proposition around it.

Looking to tap into this interest, from June this year a BE.SMART range will brought to 10 Phones4U stores in Birmingham, with a view to extending the trial to up to 100 stores in the future.

It will comprise of three sub categories – Live, Play, Train – and include products ranging from fitness bands, such as the Sony Smart Band, to smart light bulbs, such as the Philips Hue.

It is hoped the stores will allow the Phones4U to test the best ways in which to advise consumers on a much broader range of products that connect to smartphones.

Scott Hooton, chief marketing officer at Phones4U explained that that the success of the wearable and smart tech category is “dependent on retailers and manufacturers being able to demonstrate the benefits of these new products to consumers,” rather than just filling store shelves with them.

Phones4U staff involved in the trial have undergone training to ensure that they are able to provide correct advice to customers.

“The wearable and smart tech market is growing rapidly and we’re focused on embracing the opportunity it represents,” he continued.

“We will make best use of our online channels and complimentary in-store teams to help grow consumer understanding of this evolving category, which we believe goes far beyond just ‘wearable’ technology and encapsulates a much wider array of devices that are connected to and controlled by smartphones.”

Meanwhile, to educate the consumer a dedicated hub on www.phones4u.co.uk has been created to offer guides and reviews on products that are part of the BE.SMART range.

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