AT&T Chicago store (interior 001)

If you plan on buying a smartphone or a tablet from AT&T anytime soon, you’ll love the carrier’s new in-store pickup option. Introduced Monday, the service allows you to order your mobile gear online – be it a smartphone/tablet, a piece of network equipment such as routers and 4G MiFi hotspots or various wireless accessories – and have it delivered to a nearby brick-and-mortar store.

Verizon for quite some time has been offering in-store pickups for online orders – as has been Apple – so this new service will improve AT&T’s ability to compete and potentially help increase foot traffic at its own stores…

AT&T explains how easy it is to use the service.

Just visit the online AT&T store and add your smartphones, tablets and other wireless accessories to a shopping basket. Then choose the Store Pickup option and the web store will show you nearby locations where pickup is available.

Here’s a promo video.

Upon selecting one of the stores and completing the checkout process, your order should be ready and waiting for you at the store.

“Your product will be available for pick-up in an hour and you’ll receive a text message alert when your product is available for pickup,” the carrier explains.

If you want, you can also set an appointment here to receive priority service. AT&T last year added the ability to schedule an appointment and check store inventory online.