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Comcast-owned European pay TV giant Sky will open U.K. stores to offer its products and services.
The news comes at a challenging time for retailers, which have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Other media and entertainment giants, from the Walt Disney Co. to AT&T, have in the past also used bricks-and-mortar shop strategies with mixed success.
“For the first time in its 30-year history, Sky [is] launching bricks-and-mortar retail shops across the U.K., bringing Sky’s leading customer service and innovative pay TV, mobile and broadband products to the U.K. high street, under one roof,” the company said on Wednesday. “The first few shops are to set to launch in 2020, with the very first opening in Liverpool on Oct. 26. Sky has plans to open further shops in 2021, ensuring that they are in the right places for Sky customers.”
Sky Shops want to offer, in the long-term, “a new social hub for shoppers – whether they are looking for the latest Sky products, the assistance of Sky’s expert in-shop advisors, or simply looking to immerse themselves in all Sky has to offer,” the company said. “Sky’s focus on customer experience is at the crux of the new shops and designed with customers’ needs in mind.”
The shops will be separated into designated themed spaces across an open-plan layout, “encouraging easy conversation between Sky’s expert advisors and customers,” the firm said. “It will also have a dedicated ‘Customer Hub,’ complete with seating areas, that will allow existing customers to speak to advisors about their current products.” And an “Access All Areas” stage will host various interactive experiences for customers.
Sky has also struck a landmark deal with technology repair chain iSmash, with some shops hosting iSmash in-store to offer customers repair and support for their smart devices.
All shops will operate in line with the British government’s COVID-19 safety measures, including social distancing, mandatory facemasks, and the availability of hand sanitizer.
“Our new Sky shops are a great way for us to showcase the amazing benefits and customer service we have to offer new and existing customers,” said Stephen van Rooyen, executive vp & CEO, U.K. & Europe, at Sky: “We’re proud to see our shops opening at a challenging time for the U.K. high street, and alongside our partners at iSmash, we’ll bring service, innovation and convenience all in one place, under one roof, at a time when keeping people connected has never been more important.”
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