The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

Hey.

I always have a huge interest in retail stores and how they play up space, divide the area into functional zones, think over the buyer’s path and make their stay comfortable and logical. It doesn’t matter in which corner of the world you look at the store. It can be a flagship or an ordinary retail space, always behind the organization of the place you can see the people who created it, their skills and understanding of their client. And also the tasks that such a store solves, for whom it was made. During his professional career, he managed to work in different capacities: he participated in the creation of stores, dismantled technologies that were used to improve the user experience, including increasing sales. This is a very interesting work that allows a completely different look at how a retail space can be arranged, with all the compromises and disadvantages that are usually inherent in stores.

Russian operators love to experiment with retail spaces, each of them is trying to build their own flagship store in the center of Moscow, to demonstrate what others do not have. For example, “Beeline” on Tverskaya is known as a store with a gynecological chair, a chair for three-dimensional toys has been sticking out in the window for several years, this is an exhibit that takes up space and no longer works. And at the time of launch, it worked for a month at most, a kind of demonstration of technology for technology’s sake. The problem with such spaces is that they look like great PR reasons, but few people think about how much buyers need all this. Fewer still think about how sellers should manage this wealth and how distracting it is from their daily work.

In July, MTS presented its concept of a flagship store, it united everything that the company has – MTS Bank, a zone for legal entities, a zone for games and a smart home. In short, a thematic division, a lot of expensive equipment, for example, a robotic coffee shop from “Marvin”, this is a voice assistant, which is being developed by MTS. It all sounded interesting enough that I went on the weekend to Dmitrovka 5, where this store is historically located.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

This is the center of Moscow, not far from Pushkinskaya Square. The MTS store has been located here since time immemorial, experiments are often carried out inside, this is one of them. On the facade you can see the inscriptions MTS Home, MTS Mobile, MTS Bank, MTS Business. The company calls it the MTS ecosystem, but here, apparently, the management used a random number generator, since it is impossible to explain the names of directions in Russian and English in any other way. Why MTS Business? Why not MTS Business? Or why MTS Mobile, and not MTS Mobile, or something similar?

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

I have no idea who was involved in the signage design and store concept, but these people clearly gave a damn about common sense and a sense of uniformity. Considering how MTS and other operators are shaking over the brand book, it looks like a deliberate decision, not a mistake. But this approach is at least illogical, here it is simply striking and clearly visible.

I have no feeling that all the signs should be in Russian, it all depends on the positioning, goals and objectives. If you want to make signs in English, please, but then you need to do everything in one key. The provinciality of such a decision is also in the fact that it is 2020, and English-language signs have somehow become a thing of the past by themselves. And the name of the operator is in Russian, which creates an unnecessary burden on a person when he sees a sign in two languages ​​at once. A strange decision to say the least.

Thinking about the signs, I went to the door and noticed two important points. At the entrance there is a large screen with registration of incoming, it is shifted slightly to the right, so that there is an opportunity to go inside.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsenseThe new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

You can get an electronic ticket with which you can go to the appropriate zone, depending on your tasks. The camera captures you when you are standing near this terminal, it records your presence.

Standing near the terminal, I realized that the signs on the outside are the lesser of evils of this store. Those who created it used the principle of mixing everything that they had at hand in order to get some new quality. The feeling that someone lovingly collected everything that was in MTS and stuffed it into one store, without thinking about how to somehow connect these disparate parts. I’ll start with the banal – you can’t block the entrance with a rack of an electronic queue, it’s large, takes up a lot of space and becomes the center of attention. Look at the photo and look for monitors that show the number of the electronic queue, you will not find them. There are no announcements, and your number is shouted out by employees, more precisely, they come up and are interested in what you need. The workload of this store is sporadic, there are rarely huge queues (I remember those in the late 90s, when there were a lot of people inside, but then there were noticeably fewer operator’s offices in Moscow).

Why does this store need an electronic queue, if it has nothing to do with other systems, it’s just a separate machine that issues tickets, there is no integration with anything. It is possible that there is integration with the workplaces of employees and they accept the order, but this is simply not visible either in their behavior or in any other way. In short, the result is a thing-in-itself that takes up space, closes the entrance and serves incomprehensible purposes.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

Inside MTS, despite the tremors over the brand book, there is a frankly disregard for their own brand, and I can show this with examples. Here is the MTS store on Nevsky, note that you can get into coffee through the MTS store.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

The semantic component of this poster is simple: the destination point for the client is coffee, and MTS is just the space that needs to be crossed. The fact that the company’s marketers allow them to use the MTS brand so freely looks at least strange, it depreciates it. I cannot recall examples of other operators using their brands in this way.

Let’s go back to the MTS store. From the entrance you can see a bright OZON sign, blue letters glow brightly on the wall. This is the Ozon pick-up point, the most popular place in the store, where people constantly go. During the time that I was examining the store, more people went to the pick-up point than there were visitors to the MTS flagship itself.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

Please note that OZON is the brightest spot on the wall, on the right, against a red background, are the white letters MTS Mobile. Based on the font size, the brightness of the sign, it is clear that the main thing here is OZON, and not MTS at all. And this is a disregard for their own brand MTS, just no one thought about it. And this is a collective farm, I just can’t find another word.

The central part of the room is occupied by MTS Mobile, this space is allocated with spotlights and panels. Everything is flooded with light, while other themed areas are not highlighted. This is an emphasis on what is most important here. Indeed, from the point of view of sales, the MTS store is focused on equipment, so it is important to make such an emphasis. But why not love your customers so much? Spotlights create an elevated temperature, and the air conditioning in the store did not work, as the sellers said, “they broke.” As a result, it’s about 20 degrees outside, it’s hot inside and it’s difficult to stay for a long time. Even if you fix the air conditioners in the store, there is still a zone in which the number of lamps creates a heating zone. Nobody just thought about it, they did it beautifully to the best of their ability and understanding.

Want more fun? The table with Apple products is branded, this is a standard table, recognizable by hundreds of stores. That is, the solution was provided by Apple, and it does not fit in any way with the tables, which are made independently by MTS. The color is the same, but the difference is that there is a banner advertising the current product. And this table sits on a gray rug.

And do you know what will happen in the fall and winter? The rug with its left side is exactly on the way of people for orders in “Ozone”. You pass to the left of the electronic registration, just to the left of the first table, and there is no point in going around it. The road leads you to the mat, you wipe your feet and move to the pick-up point. This is the path taken by everyone who saw the Ozone sign and went to it, specially watching people. However, even at the planning stage, it would have been clear what would be the case.

To the left of the entrance there is a “robot”, he speaks in the voice of “Marvin”, a voice assistant from MTS.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

Two terminals for payment and selection of coffee, voice prompts and only, you cannot talk to him. The whole attraction is that you pay with a card for coffee, and then an ordinary coffee machine brews it for you, and the manipulator gives out a glass. The attraction is average, since the machine is large, it does not cause any admiration for the technology. There is a lot of space in the store, but even with this in mind, how much it took for a coffee machine with mechanical arms raises questions for me. Not to mention the cost of the unit, for this money it would be possible to arrange something sensible, this is at least a year and a half or two for one high-quality seller. And how to make sure that he gives you a show and surrounds you with attention is a separate story, however, almost no one can do that in our country, and this is insulting.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsenseThe new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsenseThe new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

Do you know what is not in this store? Coffee is given to you in a glass, you wander between the windows, drink it, and then you need to throw the used glass into the trash can. The creators of “Marvin” did not foresee this, since, apparently, they believed that people would buy coffee and immediately leave. The sellers suggested that the only trash can stands next to the MTS Bank terminal, also at the entrance.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

Hooray, I coped with the quest and was able not to litter or walk around with an empty glass in my hands. In my opinion, the place that was taken by the robot’s hands could easily be arranged as a bright counter with coffee and other drinks, put a nice barista (boy or girl, does not play a role), make ordinary cups, and not just take away, and everything started to play would be completely different colors. And it can also be combined with the home devices zone, and it would be good at all. But no. In the store I had the feeling that those who hated MTS with all their hearts, a kind of internal resistance, were working on it. People on the Italian strike, that is, they do everything, but in such a way that the result is repulsive and downright stupid.

“I blinded you from what was,” – humming this song, he looked at the price tags. There are several types of them. At the Apple booth, these are only price tags.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsenseThe new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

Then there are electronic price tags on all smartphones (but not watches!), They show the current discount, promotions, and so on. Where there is such an electronic price tag, there is no paper one.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

Exactly the same misunderstanding as with the signs. You cannot combine the Nizhny Novgorod style with the Parisian one, they are good separately, but together they create an explosive mixture. You either create a uniform solution, or you have a collective farm again. Then the collective farm came out. Since in MTS price tags are printed on a printer, and then cut at a point (usually they tear with a ruler, hence the uneven edges, but this is faster), they look inexpensive (I will say so carefully).

For electronic price tags, MTS used RetailRotor, this system is flexible enough and allows not only displaying price tags, but also making mini-presentations on the screens of each device. It all comes down to the fact that you need to configure the application.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

I was amazed that MTS decided not to configure the application, did the minimum necessary, apparently in a hurry. The developer’s site has all the default passwords, the ability to enter the administration system. In fact, you can do whatever you want with each device, MTS did not take care of this. This puzzled me even more, how can this be?

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

MTS is very fond of spying on trends and embodying them in stores, for example, mobile workplaces have become one of the most popular things in the world. The seller can serve you anywhere in the store, the store itself is open and now has more space. The checkout can be any terminal that you scattered across the space. In the Apple Store, it is even the seller’s mobile terminal, which is expensive, but extremely effective.

Where are the sellers in this store huddled? At a large table that separates them from visitors, protects them. They’re behind the counter! They are in the house. And, as a rule, they do their own thing, do not rush to those who have come.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

I asked everyone who of my colleagues had time to visit the store, what their impressions were. More than a dozen people said the same thing: sales assistants are sitting at the table, not rushing to those who have come. This is their bastion!

In addition to the correct arrangement of items in the store, you need to train staff how to work. If some stations are not used by sellers, then you just need to get rid of them, they are superfluous. Look at such a station, the bank terminal is turned on, everything else is paid off, some package is lying around. And all this in the hall, where it creates a feeling of a little desolation.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

Let’s go behind a coffee machine, into a zone that should demonstrate smart home solutions from MTS. The lights are dim here, this is not the main area. For some reason, an automatic machine for creating films on smartphones was sent here to the link, you can still draw on them.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsenseThe new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

He stands in the corner and clearly does not fit into my understanding of household utensils. There are two floor lamps in the corner, they are not connected to anything, they were simply left here, they were not removed to the warehouse. There are all sorts of things on the shelves, like music speakers. In the corner there is a promotional stand with a smart home from MTS, it is clearly not assembled for this store.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsenseThe new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsenseThe new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

Nobody tried to create even a distant feeling of home, it’s just shelves with some kind of goods and price tags of a different color, for a sale. Another option for the price tag, I didn’t really count, but it’s indicative.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

The feeling that the creators of this miracle have never been to IKEA or other modern stores, where you can see how the spaces of the house are created – the kitchen, hallway, living room, bedroom. I have repeatedly seen the management of MTS at exhibitions, where they were happy to try on the rooms created at the stands and looked at the work of a smart home. How so? After all, all this has already been created, it will not be difficult to do something similar and show a little differently what you are trying to sell. Not everyone has the budget to create such spaces, but MTS does, and you can make candy in such a space. Instead, they made shelves and shelves again. Shocked and upset.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

In the far left corner is the gaming zone, which is where it is difficult to fail in your endeavors, because games attract almost everyone, they are interesting, and in MTS they even sponsor a cyber team. I do not know what the creators of this corner were thinking, but it is the only one fenced off by glass from the common space.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

This is a nook with two gaming computers and two armchairs for them. Headphones are present, so the reason for the glass enclosure remains a mystery.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsenseThe new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

We created this space for a tick, since computers do anything except games, there are several of them, but you cannot run them! One of the computers proudly hangs an error message.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

Sellers do not need all this, the cubbyhole lives its own life. On the other wall there is a Playstation, where they did not even bother with test accounts for games (for MTS this is one call to Sony). Therefore, you are prompted to enter your account to play. One of the joysticks, which are tied to the wiring so as not to be stolen, no longer works.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsenseThe new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsenseThe new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsenseThe new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

With great pleasure I looked at the merch from MTS, jackets for players, they hang behind the glass! Have you ever seen a clothing store where it hangs behind glass and cannot be touched? I have not been able to remember anything like that in the last twenty years of my life.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

The entire play area was created for show, this can be seen in everything, but it is even more offensive that the space simply disappears, there is nothing to do inside. See that the games are not working and exit.

To the right of the entrance is the MTS Bank area, there is even a red sofa and a small counter in which there is wireless charging and conventional chargers. While you wait, you can charge your phone, conveniently.

The new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsenseThe new store format from MTS is a spectacular jumble of nonsense

Further – the open area of ​​MTS Business, here they serve legal entities. The black T-shirt consultant is different from the salespeople. This was the first living person who came up to me in the store and asked about something. The fifteen minutes I spent inside was perfect, as no one bothered me, I recorded videos, took photos, twisted devices at the stands. This caused a zero reaction of the sellers, they were about the same indifferent to other visitors. In other MTS stores they usually come up to you, here on the day off everyone was “busy”. This is also an approach. Sellers do not crawl out of their fortress into the outside world, they are too gentle for testing the outside world. The table is their strength, as we remember.

The zones into which the store is divided are not well thought out, the display of goods is devoid of noticeable logic, but the concept of the store itself is absent. It’s just a bunch of elements that are somehow scattered around the space to fill it. The number of gross mistakes made in the design of this store is such that I will simply tire of listing them. And this is a bad store in every sense, regardless of how much money is spent on it, a lot or a little. You expect world-class solutions from MTS, not this frank collective farm. A shameful store that isn’t geared towards new customer experiences, sales, or other challenges. Someone built this store, reported to the superiors, and that’s it. I think that the store was built by the enemies of MTS, since it is impossible to imagine a bigger blow to the company’s image.

PS If you like this format, then I will take a walk to the flagships of other operators and talk about how their stores are arranged, what is good and what is bad in them.

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