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Virgin Mobile USA opening flagship Chicago store, selling 'culture' on top of phones

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Virgin Mobile USA is adding actual bricks and mortar to its primary selling channels -- the internet and box stores -- but said that a new flagship Chicago store will not just be about the phones. The location has been set up like a casual, music-themed lounge, where customers can recline while testing devices and salespeople will run workshops on subjects like apps and how to install them. The Sprint-owned company will add 14 more locations in the city by summer's end and hopes to use the launch as an archetype for key stores in its other major market cities. The concept sounds a bit like a certain other starkly designed iChain -- but the rock 'n' roll decor is pure Branson.

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