Talk Talk, one of the bigger operators in the UK has opened a concept store in the heart of Soho that does little other than provide a space for potential customers to come in and test drive the internet courtesy of the service it offers.

Broadband network providers don’t often bother with shops. Why should they? After all, what they offer is intangible and it really is quite hard to look at a network, no matter how you may try. Yet Talk Talk, one of the bigger operators in the UK has opened a concept store in the heart of Soho that does little other than provide a space for potential customers to come in and test drive the internet courtesy of the service it offers.

So why would you bother dropping in? Well, possibly because design consultancy Found Associates has made a pretty good job of creating an environment that might make you want to wander in and take a look.

The real plus, obviously, about the Talk Talk shop is that you can surf the net for free and, if you feel so minded, hear the spiel about Talk Talk. And, like the nearby Apple store on Regent Street, if you don’t want anything more than this, it’s not a problem.

While you do this, you’ll admire the woodblock mid-shop counters on which the computers have been mounted, glance at the glass-walled private area at the back of the shop or perhaps grab a coffee from the cappuccino autorickshaw, positioned in the middle of the floor.

In total, the store has an industrial ambience with raw concrete and fluorescent strip lighting and looks worth stepping inside. But more than anything else, this is about taking something that would normally look a pretty hard sell and making it interesting. The free internet is a generous approach and one that other brands and retailers could do well to take notice of.