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Motorola to include a ‘Drop Zone’ in its first ever brick-and-mortar store

Motorola’s opening what it’s calling its first ever “experiential boutique” – or “store” in common parlance – offering shoppers the chance to go hands-on with its range of mobile and wearable gear.

Located in its home city of Chicago, the brick-and-mortar site, which the company has christened “Moto Shop,” opens Saturday, November 7.

While the company already has in place a powerful online customization tool with Moto Maker, it also knows the value of letting consumers get up close and personal with tech stuff – especially with Christmas just around the corner.

The Drop Zone.
The Drop Zone. Motorola

In a blog post announcing the store, Motorola promises it won’t be overwhelming (or sending to sleep) visitors with lists of tech specs, but will instead offer a “hands-on, interactive environment with dedicated areas that bring to life our marquee products and device features.”

So take its online Moto Maker, for example. At the store, the feature appears as a mini workshop where you can get your mitts on “genuine leathers, real woods and a broad-ranging color palette to build a custom Moto X Pure Edition.”

There’s also the Moto Shoot set where you can try out the phone’s 21-megapixel camera.

Besides handsets, you’ll also be able to slap on your wrist the latest Moto 360 smartwatch, with lots of different bands, cases, and bezels offered so you can see which suits best.

The Drop Zone

But surely coolest of all is the store’s Drop Zone, a special spot featuring four types of floor material (concrete, ceramic, tile, and wood) for testing the durability of the Droid Turbo 2, billed as “the world’s first shatterproof phone.” Yes, you can “accidentally” drop the handset – their handset – from a great height onto the various surfaces to push its ShatterShield display to the limit. Just don’t slam it down too hard or you might crack the floor.

There’s been quite a bit of retail-related activity among some of the tech industry’s big names just recently. Microsoft opened a flagship store in Manhattan last month, while Amazon this week launched its first brick-and-mortar store selling books. Google, meanwhile, appears to have abandoned a plan for an outlet in NY City.

As for Motorola, it doesn’t say if it has plans for more stores, but if this effort proves popular with visitors it may well consider other locations in major cities across the country.

If you’re in Chicago from next week and want to check out the store, you’ll find it at 108 N. State St. (Suite 140 at Block 37). Opening hours are 10am to 8pm Monday through Saturday and 11am to 6pm Sunday.

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