I was in New York City yesterday (please don’t ask me about the commute home) and I “popped in” to the Visible Wireless pop-up store, located in SoHo (435 Broadway.)
Visible is owned by Verizon (either completely or as a spin-off, or partially – all the executives previously worked for Big Red) and they’ve set up this “experience” behind a front of the “world’s worst repair shop”, where they’re selling “iPhone 6 1/2 cases” and a “phone theft prevention kit” where they break your screen (“no one is stealing a phone with a broken screen!”)
Once behind the curtain (literally, you walk behind a curtain) – you get to see the Visible experience. Rooms are “upside down” (see my pic), there’s a light and sound sensory area, a “zen” area and more. The final room is a lounge, where you can hang out and use their WiFi and have coffee.
According to the employees working, Visible is app based and BYOD. When you ask where it’s sold, they are quite adamant that nothing is being sold! Visible is only a service and you can download the app on-line (so no dealers or direct B&M.) Plans are $40 “all in” – no additional taxes or fees. They will admit it runs on the VZW network, if you ask.
Visible has been around for less than a year and this is the first advertising they’ve done. In fact, they’ve been quite invisible, and even this is pop-up is entered behind a “speak-easy” kind of front.
The other visitors were mostly younger (all ads are being done via Social Media.) It will be interesting to keep an eye on them and see if they’re able to get any traction in the pre-paid market – they certainly have the funds behind them. This “pop-up experience” while only there for a limited time, was not inexpensive to setup or run.
Oh – the commute home? Here’s a picture of the Port Authority Bus Terminal while I was there. I literally got on the last bus before they shut it down. My 30 minute ride took me 7.5 hours…
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