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Cable Technology Feature Article

February 13, 2012

Comcast Gives Xfinity Stores an Upgrade

By Oliver VanDervoort, Contributing Writer

Going to sign up for cable, or to pay your bill, can feel an awful lot like you got caught in an unending loop of bureaucracy. Drab office buildings are nothing new for utility companies and until recently, cable and phone companies didn't see much worth in making their offices seem user friendly. Now, one of the biggest cable companies in the country is taking a new approach and borrowing the feel of one of the most successful consumer electronics companies in the world.

No one can claim that Comcast (News - Alert) hasn't used Xfinity as a vehicle to break the mold of the average cable company. Comcast has rolled out mobile hotspots for Xfinity users and has offered up iPad apps that allow those same users to watch Comcast programming from wherever they take their tablets. The company has also offered up free wireless routers so that customers would dial up the broadband internet usage.

But now Comcast is making some cosmetic changes to at least one Xfinity store in order to make it look a bit more like something you would see at the Apple (News - Alert) store. The cable company is launching what can only be considered a test case in Katy, Texas where they have tried to take away the bureaucratic dryness of a cable company and give their store a bit more of a hip look. Houston area Senior Manager of Public Relations Michael Bybee announced the changes being made in this test case. 

Bybee said that there will now be a greeter at the door who is armed with an iPad. The greeter will take down the name of the customer coming through the door and queue them up, allowing the customers to see how long they will be waiting without standing in line. Once they've put their names in, they can wander about the store looking at products or settle in to watch some 3D TV in the seating area.

In the middle of this 3,200 foot store will be kiosks that allow customers to view the different offerings from Xfinity in the television, phone and home security sectors. Comcast says it wants to open up three more of the newer versions of Xfinity stores in the Houston area and will eventually expand and revamp its old stores across the country.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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