With the success of the Apple retail store, the most profitable per square foot stores in the world, it’s no surprise to see Sony and Microsoft wanting in on the action. Nearly 3 years ago, Sony unveiled their first revamped store in Century City, CA. Out was the high end look of the store which was perceived as intimidating and in was a new, fun, and bright retail experience. Unlike previous stores that had many products behind locked glass cages, the new Sony retail experience has all the tech you want and laid out for use. You can shoot with every camera, touch every tablet, feel all the accessories, and watch any television in the store, including Sony’s 4K XBR fleet. Want to test out the NEX-7? Great, just pick it up and point it at the many wonderful sceneries Sony has built within the stores for your enjoyment.
With a completely revamped customer experience, Sony then turned its attention to the store layouts. Now, the entire store can be seen from any angle with low kiosks throughout with your favorite tech out in the open. Gone is the low light experience and, instead, you can find a colorful store with bright lights and large screens throughout. In fact, the new Sony retail stores have shelves that sit on a rail which allow staff members to easily rearrange the store and its layout, ensuring that your experience changes with different visits. This also provides Sony with more flexibility as new products come and makes highlighting of select products much easier. Wondering what song is playing in the store? Just look at the many different vertical panels throughout the store that display tips, tricks and yes, the artist info from the song being played at the given moment. With the concept stores now a reality, Sony then shifted its attention towards revamping their old stores with this new model and three previous stores have now been reopened with the new concept.
Live in Miami, San Diego, and or Orland? If so, you’re in for a treat as your local Store retail store has just finished its remodeling and is open for business. While still few compared to Apple, this now brings the revamped Sony retail store count to 8. Mike Fasulo, executive vice president of sales operations for Sony Electronics said:
We’re creating a new way to shop for consumer electronics. People expect the best from Sony, and we want to exceed their expectations by providing a personal, memorable shopping experience to all of our guests, that keeps them and their families coming back again and again.
So with only a few retail stores, how does Sony stay aggressive with its retail strategy? Enter the free-standing ‘Sony Galleries.’ Designed to include Sony’s best products in a smaller store footprint, the Sony Gallery stores will spread across high profile locations where consumers can play with the latest Sony products while trained professionals help educate potential owners on Sonys product line. It’s unclear at this time if any of the Sony Galleries will carry actual products or if they serve as a physical link to Sony online web portal. According to Sony, the first Sony Gallery opened at the Westfield UTC Mall in San Diego, and is located in the central court near Tiffany’s. Two more Sony Galleries will open in New Jersey and San Francisco next month, and additional locations are being planned in shopping centers across the country.
While Apple commands a large number of retail stores, you can also find their store within a store outlets in many Best Buy locations. Not to be outdone, Samsung is copying Apple once again by announcing a partnership with Best Buy that will see their own miniature stores in 1,500 locations. In the past, Samsung has also offered small stores, prompt in the middle of the mall to attract consumers to their brand. With Sony slowly getting more aggressive with their retail strategy, we hope to see more bold moves and partnerships from them in the future in order to win back consumers.
Do you think the Sony Galleries concept is a good approach for Sony?
New “Sony Gallery” opened this week in San Diego County with more stores on the horizon
SAN DIEGO, April 15, 2013 – Sony Electronics is starting its retail expansion with a splash, opening the doors to three newly remodeled Sony Stores and several brand new Sony Gallery experiences in just a few short months.
Following the success of the most recently redesigned Sony Store in the Simon Mall Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, the three new concept stores located in Miami, San Diego and Orlando will re-open with the same fresh, modern, and immersive experience that has become the hallmark of the Sony retail store shopping experience. The remodels will bring the total of U.S. redesigned stores to eight.
Sony’s innovative retail expansion plans also include free-standing “Sony Galleries,” a curated assortment of Sony’s best products in a smaller store footprint. The first Sony Gallery opened this week at the Westfield UTC Mall in San Diego, and is located in the central court near Tiffany’s. Two more Sony Galleries will open in New Jersey and San Francisco next month, and additional locations are being planned in shopping centers across the country.
The Sony Gallery at UTC is the predecessor to another new Sony retail store concept that will open this fall, a “boutique” in size and style with the best TVs, cameras, computers and audio products and services Sony has on the market.
“We’re creating a new way to shop for consumer electronics,” said Mike Fasulo, executive vice president of sales operations for Sony Electronics. “People expect the best from Sony, and we want to exceed their expectations by providing a personal, memorable shopping experience to all of our guests, that keeps them and their families coming back again and again.”
“The Sony retail store goal is to be the best, the easiest, and the most fun place to shop for Sony products,” said Brian Sheehan, senior vice president of Sony Direct. “We’ve got passionate Sony fans ready and waiting to help our guests find that perfect product or solution that only Sony can provide.”
Personalized Services, Customized Solutions
Rated #1 by Laptop, Tech Media magazine for Tech Support (2012), Sony Stores continue to offer Premium Services that provide guests with exceptional support for their Sony products. From installation to product personalization, Sony’s exclusive service offerings include product set-up assistance and training by Sony experts, activation of wireless services, and technical PC and IT support by certified technicians. In-home consultations, delivery, and TV and home audio and video installation by authorized technicians are also provided.
About the Re-designed Sony Stores
The newly redesigned Sony stores feature a wide-open store front, providing shoppers an unobstructed view into the world of Sony. Inside, Sony fans will be able to experience all things Sony. From Sony music artists playing over the speakers to Sony Pictures movies playing on the immersive 4K televisions, the full breadth of Sony’s assets can be enjoyed in one great place.
The new design was developed with a focus on the guest experience, and features a light, bright, and flexible store layout that makes it easy for people to test and try their favorite Sony products. The innovative interior walls are moveable and changeable, allowing new color schemes to be reconfigured to highlight specific products, services, or content.
The three Sony Stores being remodeled will re-open in the new design over the course of the next few months, including:
- Aventura Mall (Aventura, FL) – April 23
- Fashion Valley Mall (San Diego, Calif.) – May 18
- The Mall at Millenia (Orlando, FL) – July 2013
About Sony Stores
Sony Stores are a unique destination where consumers can explore, discover and compare the best of Sony in one place, from electronics products to popular music, the latest movies and thrilling games. Sony’s goal is always to exceed guest expectations with knowledgeable and engaging Sony experts who help provide an exciting, interactive and entertaining shopping experience. Services include product set-up to service and repair facilitation for all Sony products, activation of wireless services, and technical PC and IT support by certified technicians. There are 38 Sony Store locations nationwide. A directory can be found by visitinghttp://store.sony.com/storelocator.
About Sony Electronics
Headquartered in San Diego, Sony Electronics is a leading provider of audio/video electronics and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Operations include research and development, design, engineering, sales, marketing, distribution and customer service. Sony is noted for a wide range of consumer audio-visual products, such as the BRAVIA® LCD 4K, 3D and high-definition televisions, Cyber-shot® digital camera, Alpha Digital SLR camera, Handycam® camcorder and Walkman® personal stereo. Sony is also an innovator in the IT arena with its VAIO® personal computers Reader devices and Sony Tablets; and in high-definition professional broadcast equipment, highlighted by the XDCAM® HD and CineAlta™ lines of cameras and camcorders, and the SXRD™ 4K digital projector. For more information, visitwww.sony.com/news or join the Sony Community: www.sony.com/blog;www.facebook.com/SonyElectronics; www.twitter.com/SonyElectronics;www.youtube.com/SonyElectronics; and www.pinterest.com/SonyElectronics.