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Retail Stores Offering Cellphone Charging Stations

For any on-the-go person, a dead cellphone battery can be a huge hinderance to staying connected and getting tasks accomplished.

Smartphones have become ubiquitous and the need for powering up is more important to consumers than ever. In response, airports, restaurants and retailers are providing power, often free of charge, at cellphone charging stations.

Several large retailers, including Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, Urban Outfitters and Under Armour have found that free smartphone charging is attractive to customers, according to an article from the National Retail Federation.

The charging station trend will most likely continue, as 90 percent of Americans own mobile phones, and one-third of them describe their cellphones as “something they can’t imagine living without,” according to a recent study by the Pew Research Center Internet Project Survey.

To answer the demand of consumers looking for a way to charge up their phones while out running errands, Douglas Baldasare came up with the idea for ChargeItSpot. A ChargeItSpot kiosk contains eight lockers where consumers can hook up their phones for charging. Customers create personal codes for the lockers based on their own 10-digit mobile phone numbers.

Secure charging station for consumers’ phones are a draw, but retailers such as Neiman Marcus believe the stations are less about attracting customers and more about providing exceptional customer service.

Utilizing a service like ChargeItSpot requires retailers to pay monthly fees based on the quantity of units and the length of time they keep them. Included in that fee is everything from software upgrades to 24-hour servicing for the charging stations.

Incorporating charging stations int0 stores might not work everywhere, and Steven Keith Platt, director and research fellow at Platt Retail Institute, is skeptical of their success.

“Most people are attached to their phones and would only leave them to charge if they had no choice,” Platt says. “Ever hear of mobile shopping?”

About Renee Changnon

Renee Changnon is the retail outreach coordinator for NRHA. She meets with retailers in their stores and at industry events and introduces them to the services NRHA provides. Renee previously worked as a member of the NRHA communications team. She earned a degree in visual journalism from Illinois State University, where she served as the features editor for the school newspaper. After college, she implemented marketing and promotions initiatives at Jimmy John’s franchise locations across the country. She enjoys exploring books with her book club, Netflix marathons and hosting goat yoga at her apartment complex. Renee Changnon 317-275-9442 rchangnon@nrha.org

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