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Bellflower Bulletin
WaMu Introduces New Local
Occasio™ Banking Concept


Washington Mutual, an affiliate of the Bellflower Chamber of Commerce, introduced its Occasio concept of banking to the community with an open house and ribbon cutting during their grand opening celebration on January 12th at their newest location: 9054 Alondra Blvd. Bellflower. The Occasio concept, a new idea in modern banking with its retail-like atmosphere has been put into service in WaMu’s over 1,200 locations nationwide, and now in Bellflower.

Washington Mutual believes in getting involved in the community, according to George Kaye, Senior VP, Consumer Banking, So. California/Arizona Group. “It is a pleasure and we are very proud to be in Bellflower and we want each of our branches to be connected to the community. We want to give back to the community by supporting and working with our local schools and businesses. We truly want to be part of the community.” Kaye adds.

Photo by Zion Publishing
PATENTED APPROACH: When you walk into Washington Mutual’s Occasio™ branch in 9054 Alondra Blvd., Bellflower, at first you would not believe you’re in a bank. The traditional high counters and teller windows that greet customers in most banks are not there! Instead you’ll find an open, welcoming space with the look and feel of a contemporary retail store, complete with friendly representatives to escort you to the appropriate areas for service.

Occasio™ retail banking stores feature circular layouts which eliminate the high counters and button-down clerks, so often associated with the banking industry, and instead encourage more a personalized service. “This concept will develop some kind of a personal service, there’s no glass window or barrier between our staff and the customer and people feel comfortable with that. You will also notice our staff don’t wear suits and ties or very fancy type of clothes, there’s a reason for that too, again, we want people to feel comfortable with our environment”, Kaye emphasizes.

Photo by Zion Publishing
OCCASIO™—WaMu’s modern approach to banking was introduced to the community during an open house and ribbon cutting of its second and newest branch in the City of Bellflower. Photo above shows Jose Prieto, center, VP, Financial Center Manager, with (to his left) Howard Cole, Bellflower Chamber of Commerce President, and George Kay, WaMu Senior Vice President. Also in photo are Bellflower Chamber of Commerce directors and members, officers from the Sheriff Department, local businessmen, representatives from schools and the KLOVE radio, expressing support to the enterprise.

The Occasio™ concept was introduced in Las Vegas in 2000 in response to two years of extensive customer research in which consumers said they liked to do business in a comfortable setting with friendly, competent people. Combining the research with cues taken from top-notch retailers, Washington Mutual set out to design its retail banking stores accordingly. The new retail stores were designed by the same company that designed the Disney retail stores. At Occasio™ locations, children have play areas to entertain themselves, and the centers even have a retail service area where visitors or young persons can shop for financial products and services such as software and educational materials.

For more information on Washington Mutual’s products and services visit your local Occasio™ branch at 9054 Alondra Blvd., Bellflower or call (562) 804-5120.

Bellflower Chamber of Commerce, Partnering for a New Tomorrow
16730 Bellflower Blvd., Ste. A, Bellflower, CA 90706 | 562-867-1744 • F: 562-866-7545
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