Mega AT&T store opens in San Bruno, lets users test wares

Though another telecommunications giant has deep connections in much of San Mateo County, AT&T has set up a first-of-its-kind shop in hopes of drawing customers from all over the Bay Area.

An AT&T Experience Store — the first and only one so far on the West Coast, according to AT&T officials — opened in the San Bruno Towne Center on Nov. 16. Business, the details of which remain close to the vest, has more than met expectations, company officials said.

The stores are something analogous to the modern, striking Apple Stores that dot the Bay Area, encouraging all to fiddle with the products before making a purchase. The San Bruno AT&T location is 5,500 square feet, more than twice the size of a typical AT&T retail store.

With the holiday shopping season under way, San Bruno’s proximity to San Francisco as well as travelers coming and going from San Francisco International Airport, AT&T spokesman Ted Carr said San Bruno seemed like a logical place to set up shop to sell phones and services.

San Bruno owns and operates its own cable company, San Bruno Cable, which provides cable, Internet and, most recently, digital telephone service to approximately 10,000 homes in town, cable television director Tenzin Gyaltsen said. With the addition of phone service — and available bundling of services for a cheaper rate — Gyaltsen has said his company is prepared to go up against Comcast and, as it makes further inroads on the Peninsula, AT&T.

AT&T may run into some challenges given the competition in this area. With increasing prices on all fronts in order to stay competitive, many have said an abundance of choice is the way to stay above water in the growing market.

“It’s a competitive area,” Carr said. “But we have every intention of reaching more customers and expanding.”

tramroop@examiner.com

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