Ron Faris

This week, Virgin Mobile is opening its first branded retail outlet in Chicago's upscale Lincoln Park neighborhood. Unlike most wireless retail stores, the Virgin Mobile store presents a relaxed atmosphere, with comfortable chairs for customers to sit in while employees activate their new phones, charging stations, a phonograph where people are encouraged to play records (supplied by a neighborhood record store down the street). The feel, according to Ron Faris, Virgin Mobile's chief marketing officer, is more akin to that neighbor than of another big-box retailer further down the street.

New York -- Virgin Mobile will open a flagship on Thursday in Chicago, the New York Times reported. The wireless company, which is owned by Sprint, hopes to build awareness of its brand by redefining the relationship between the customer and the carrier, according to the report. In the report, Ron Faris, head of brand marketing at Virgin Mobile, said the store will focus on what customers can do with the phones as opposed to the phones themselves. Salespeople, for example, will be responsible for knowing about new apps to install on the phones, and they will hold app

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