On an ordinary corner in downtown Manhattan stands an ordinary bank branch. Formerly a United Colors of Benetton store, Wells Fargo predecessor Wachovia fashioned it into a retail bank, filling some 4,500 square feet upstairs with tellers, financial advisors, couches and desks.
The downstairs couldn't be more different. With the aura of an unfinished basement, Wells Fargo executives have used the space as a laboratory to conceive a new vision for the branch—smaller to scale, but still full-service.
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Jonathan Velline, who heads Wells Fargo's branch strategy, went to the drawing board last year with a dilemma: Eighty percent of customer transactions didn't need assistance, but 70 percent of customers still visited a branch every six months.