When I was in New York City, USA in 2012, one of the things I did was visit the iconic Apple store along 5th Avenue (and have my photo taken in front of the incredible glass cube) and buy my own iPad 2 (it was a big thing then!). My experience at that store was very nice and that was a memory that continued to linger. Back then, I hoped to experience that kind of customer service and perhaps see a similar store in the Philippines.
Fast forward 2014, not only did I get to meet Tim Kobe, the very designer of the Apple stores (and of the Nike Concept Stores, Knoll, Virgin Atlantic Airways, and Citibank, just to name a few more!) but I also got to see (and experience!) his signature skill and expertise in innovative design when the much-talked about Globe Telecom “Generation 3” or Gen3 store opened in Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines last December 15, 2014. Globe tapped Tim Kobe and his Eight Inc. team to design the world-class retail store.
Located at the North Concourse of Limketkai Mall, the Globe Gen3 store CDO is one of the first two Generation 3 stores in the Philippines – the other one located at SM North EDSA. According to Globe, the Gen3 stores promise “a fresh experience for its customers, boasting of a unique retail concept.” And unique they truly are!
Let me take you on a mini tour at the CDO store, which is, truth be told, now considered as a “must-visit” in the city.
The Globe Gen3 store is composed of different lifestyle zones. Each zone showcases interactive lifestyle vignettes that will feature devices and services that customers get to personally try out. With the help of attentive Globe customer service employees, customers can then decide which product and service are best for them and their lifestyle.
So if you’re a big NBA fan, for instance, you can go to the zone where you can watch NBA games, try gadgets and mobile applications and even accessories like headsets that can enable you to watch the NBA on-the-go.
Or if you’re a budding entrepreneur, you may want to try the latest smartphones and tablets and download applications that can help you become more productive and focused. Just ask a Globe staff member for assistance.
One interesting thing about the store’s design is that none of the zone modules are actually fastened onto the floor. If you notice in some of the photos I took, the modules all hang from the ceiling. This way, the store’s design can be changed as often as Globe sees fit. This kind of design is what Globe Retail Transformation Management Chief Joe Caliro calls “Black Box Theater.” Because the modules are made flexible, the store’s design is made versatile. Basically, the design today may not be the same design tomorrow!
See the kids playing? The Globe Gen3 CDO store can keep the young ones busy while the parents pay their bills.
Speaking of bills, did you know that you can now easily pay your bills through automated teller machines? These 2 ATMs are located on the left side, near the door.
There are also 2 “video call” stations where you can talk to customer service personnel.
Just in case these stations are busy, just ask a Globe staff member for assistance. What that employee would do is ask for your name, your concern and may also ask that he or she take your photo. Now, don’t fret! This is to make it easy for the employees to address your concern. Let me explain.
Over the holidays, I accompanied my brother to the Globe Gen3 Limketkai store. He wanted to buy 2 Php 500 prepaid cards. A tablet-carrying employee asked for his name, his number, other pertinent details and if it was okay to take his photo. I must admit, we both became skeptical but my brother eventually agreed. About 3 minutes later, (my brother and I were checking out a zone) a different employee approached us and led us to the cash register. Curious, I asked how she knew it was us who needed the prepaid cards. The employee said it was because of the photo stored in their system. Neat!
The store also has a digital number queuing system. You can check your name on a digital board to see if you’re next. Also, if you decide to step out of the store for a bit, you will receive a text message (hence, the need for them to ask for your number) when it’s your turn.
By the way, the store does not only carry smartphones and tablets. The new Globe Gen3 store now also sells accessories like headsets and protective cases, fitness gadgets, bluetooth speakers, wearables and power banks plus they’re the exclusive distributor of the Google Cardboard – that fold-it-yourself virtual reality headset. And if that still doesn’t convince you to visit the store – how about if I tell you that Globe has lined up regular activities inside the store which will showcase how brand ambassadors and other personalities use their phones, tablets, favorite apps and other gadgets? That’s definitely something to look forward to!
The Globe Gen3 store is really pretty impressive it can very well be considered a “must-visit” in CDO. Even if you’re not a Globe customer! Seriously! Just go and experience what a real Generation 3 store is.
Good job, Globe. And, of course, hats off to you, Tim Kobe. I’m so glad you guys made me remember – and feel again – that wonderful New York memory.