Xfinity plans to open a retail store at southeast Beach and Hodges boulevards in South Jacksonville, which appears to be its first of the cable-company’s area locations where customers can pay bills, interact with Comcast employees and explore the company’s products and services.
Xfinity is Comcast’s digital platform for TV, Internet and voice services.
Xfinity is building out a store at 13740 Beach Blvd., in Suite 413, near Petland. The center, Pablo Creek Plaza East, is anchored by a Super Target store.
Metro Property Services Inc. is the contractor for the 4,607-square-foot Xfinity retail center space, which is being renovated at a project cost of $197,072.
The stores appear to be a step beyond the existing Comcast Service Centers, where customers can pay bills, manage their accounts, subscribe to additional services and pick up, return or exchange Comcast equipment. Those locations can be found at comcast.com.
Media reports about Xfinity stores in other cities quote Comcast officials as saying the interactive displays of Xfinity’s cable, television and Internet packages, as well as add-on services like home security and monitoring, represent a new way for the company to reach its customers.
Comcast spokesman Spero Canton had no immediate comment over the weekend about the Jacksonville store.
A Comcast executive was quoted in a Phillyburbs.com report in April 2012 about a new Pennsylvania store. Comcast is based in Philadelphia.
“Our company is changing and growing,” said LeAnn Talbot, a regional senior vice president for Comcast, in the report.
“We are not just the cable company we started with. We have so many other products and services. And it’s important we grow along with the products that we offer,” she said.
“We wanted to have not just the shiny new store, but also talented employees that can help our customers through the experience of what Comcast is all about, what Xfinity is all about,” she said.
Comcast-jobs.com invites applications for the position of full-time sales consultant in Jacksonville. The posting says there are eight openings.
“Play with interactive displays of Xfinity cable and television. Move between your favorite show and a Skype session right on the TV. Show an incredibly fast download of a movie using Xfinity Internet. Monitor a staged Comcast home remotely using Xfinity Home. Receive a voicemail via text on your laptop. Do all of this right in front of a customer!” states the job overview.
It says sales consultants will work directly with customers in a retail location and also will help customers to interpret and clarify their account statements and pay their bills in the store.
Core responsibilities are to engage customers in a retail location and drive sales of Comcast’s services, including HDTV, high-speed Internet, home security, wireless cards and digital telephone services.
At a grand opening in June in Grand Rapids, Mich., a report by mlive.com said Xfinity stores are part of an industry trend to open retail outlets to improve the customer experience in a highly competitive marketplace.
The report said the 3,100-square-foot Grand Rapids store also focuses on no lines.
Instead, customers sign into a queue system which allows them to wait in the store and check out other Comcast services or watch 3D TV in the seating area until a staff consultant is available.
The report said a back office provides space for customers to privately discuss issues.
The plan for the Jacksonville store shows 2,552 square feet of retail space and 2,055 square feet of office space.
Store hours for the new Michigan store are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.
An October report by twincitites.com about a new Xfinity Experience Center store in Roseville, Minn., said retail outlets aren’t new for Comcast, but those locations “typically are utilitarian storefronts where customers take a number, then wait around to pay a bill or pick up a cable modem. For decades, folks bought cable over the phone.”
Comcast Corp. is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal.
The xfinity.comcast.net site describes Comcast Cable as the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers under the Xfinity brand and also provides the services to businesses.
NBCUniversal operates 30 news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, TV station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts.