Comcast opened a 2,000-plus square foot retail superstore today in the Minneapolis—St. Paul market in a bid to challenge the dominance of DirecTV and Dish Network in the area. Called the Xfinity Experience Center, walk in customers will see a mock living room decked out with demonstrations of Comcast’s advanced digital video products, as well as the latest smartphone and tablet applications. In addition, Comcast has teamed up with Verizon to to cross-promote digital cable and wireless phone products, which means that Comcast’s retail center will pitch Verizon wireless services, rather than compete with Verizon’s FiOS (which is only available in regions where Verizon has already built a pure fiber optic network).
The Minneapolis—St. Paul area has no other major cable competitors, save for the 2 major satellite TV providers, DirecTV and Dish Network. Because Comcast offers high speed broadband internet and digital home phone (DirecTV and Dish does not), they may be able to woo current satellite TV customers to subscribe to them as standalone services. Comcast can also offer bundle deals for a bigger discount on all services, something the major satellite companies cannot provide as of yet.