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Nov. 21, 2013 - The Grand Opening of the first Verizon Destination Store was held Wednesday evening at Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., with Verizon Wireless Chief Operating Officer Marni Walden welcoming global music sensation Selena Gomez as the first customer. Walden and the company's highly trained zone specialists brought the nearly 10,000-square-foot technology playground to life for Gomez and five fans who won a personal tour of the store for themselves and their guests before it opened to the public.

The Verizon Destination Store, the company's first large-footprint retail space, features interactive mobile lifestyle zones where guests can learn about and experience wireless technology in action. The store's Lifestyle Zones include Get Fit, Amplify It, Home and On the Go, Have Fun, Anywhere Business and Customize It. The store also features interactive exterior windows, an interactive avatar wall, a wireless workshop area, and an expansive assortment of mobile devices and accessories.

"Yesterday Verizon Wireless launched a new era in customer experience," said Seamus Hyland, president, Verizon Wireless Great Plains Region. "Verizon Wireless is transforming the way we engage with customers by helping them discover all the ways that wireless technology can enable their mobile lifestyles."

The Grand Opening celebration will continue at the store throughout the week, with sports broadcaster Erin Andrews stopping in on Thursday, Nov. 21, to discover the Verizon Destination Store's "Get Fit" zone. Additionally, renowned fashion and style expert Nina Garcia will be making a guest appearance on Saturday, Nov. 23, to explore the "Customize It" zone. Fans will have the opportunity to meet and greet these special celebrity guests.

Tech Retail Experience Amplified
The Amplify It zone was a hit with Gomez and her special guests. The music technology showcase includes a Wall of Sound with 299 speakers, a digital DJ and an Amplify It Music Mixer that allows shoppers to immerse themselves in the digital music experience.

Reinventing Customer Experience Nationwide
The Verizon Destination Store is part of a broader initiative that includes the redesign of Verizon Wireless' more than 1,700 retail stores nationwide. Called Smart Stores, the newly redesigned locations showcase the same mobile lifestyle zones as the Verizon Destination Store but on a smaller scale.

The Verizon Wireless online store and Gadgets & Gear portal have also been redesigned to deliver smart-purchase recommendations and provide a consistent shopping experience for customers across browsers and mobile platforms.

"The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network and extensive line-up of devices and smart accessories have made the mobile lifestyle a reality," Hyland said. "By creating a new shopping experience punctuated by highly trained zone specialists and an integrated in-store and online shopping experience, we are forever changing the mobile retail experience."

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