MobileStore: Retail recall

Oct 06 2013, 10:49 IST
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SummaryThe MobileStore is joining the ranks of global giants like Tesco, Debenhams and Pep Stores to vie for a top spot in the World Retail Awards to be held in Paris on Oct 8

The MobileStore Lounge in Noida. With a plethora of options in front of him, he’s confused about choosing a model that will suit both his usage patterns as well as his budget. So, he approaches a ‘tech buddy’ who takes him on a guided tour of the store and lets him try out the ‘live’ phone models (not dummies, as seen in traditional stores) on display.

Sinha does not have to look around for what goes best with his new possession because there are complementing accessories placed just below the phones. What’s a smartphone without apps? So, Sinha moves on to the ‘Android zone’ to download some. However, being a little pressed for time, Sinha buys Google Play cards to download the relevant stuff later at home. He finally transfers data from his old handset to the new with the ‘phone OS agnostic data transfer dock’ facility that is on offer free of cost. All this in a relaxed atmosphere and in the cool confines of a lounge area that is an integral part of the store.

Launched in 2006, The MobileStore, formerly known as Essar Telecom Retail, currently has over 850 stores across India, spread across 100 cities. For Chakrawarti, the CEO of the company, the idea to come up with lounges struck in 2011 when smartphones started to capture the market trend in India. He saw that very few were able to operate and utilise the features of smartphones to the best of their capabilities. “We decided to capture the smartphone market because we felt that mobility has become a key thing for consumers today,” says Chakrawarti.

Sky is the limit

Mobility has, in fact, added an endless world of possibilities for the consumer. Chakrawarti elaborates: “Nokia’s Lumia series, for instance, has a feature called City Lens, through which a user can find out about an area’s shops, restaurants and businesses just by holding the phone in that direction. You can then read reviews, book a table and find the quickest route to the destination. But how many are aware about this?” asks Chakrawarti, adding that display of such new avenues would be the high point of their lounges.

The company has also partnered with Samsung for its all-share technology app which allows users of select Samsung devices to push media files such as pictures to servers in the cloud. “Another compelling capability is SmartView, which lets one mirror what’s

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