Sony Still Trying To Become Apple - Expanding Retail Stores

from the but-why? dept

People have said that both Sony and Gateway are trying to become more like Apple, so it's no surprise that all three companies have focused on retail stores. Of course, so far, the only one that has been successful with the strategy has been Apple, and that's because they don't have channel conflict to deal with. I've been to the Sony store in San Francisco a few times, and I still don't quite understand the point. It's clearly not there to sell anything. Prices are more expensive than you can find elsewhere, and there really isn't that much selection. It's more of a big display case where you can check out Sony products, but that doesn't seem particularly efficient. Still, Sony has decided, in light of Apple's success with their stores, to expand the retail effort and will be opening a bunch of new stores. Of course, part of the reason for Apple's success is their group of loyal customers who do things like lineup for miles to get in on opening day. Sony doesn't inspire the same level of fanaticism. Besides, Sony really does risk pissing off their channel partners. They try to solve this by basically admitting that these stores aren't designed to sell products - which should only lead to the question of "why?" If the store isn't designed to move product, then it seems like a very expensive (especially in the locations they're building them), very inefficient form of advertising. Do they really think the overall benefit of stores that aren't designed to sell products will outweigh the costs of real estate and labor?


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    Beck, Mar 31st, 2004 @ 12:30pm

    No Subject Given

    It must stink to work for commission in a store that is not intended to sell anything. Maybe they'll hire models like the women at the auto show who ride round on the carousel with the new cars.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2004 @ 8:03pm

    Given the cost of TV ads...

    Physical stores are just big, walk-in advertisements. Given how expensive TV ads are - $75,000 - $300,000 for one... its not THAT expensive to staff and run a store, even at a loss. Looks good on the balance sheets in comparsion, anyway....

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Drew, Apr 5th, 2004 @ 9:57am

    Sony Stores

    Given the costs of operating stores, perhaps Sony could leverage its relationships with CC & BB to draw customers to THOSE locations for hands-on trial. A comission-motivated person might also help you. Plus, instead of paying outrageous lease amounts for prime real estate, Sony could instead use the cash to send BB & CC staff to consumer electronics training sessions.
    We try, we like, we buy. Sales gets educated and sells products they know something about.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    John Reid, Oct 20th, 2004 @ 6:26am

    No Subject Given

    Sony should give up. They have poor customer service. When their support staff accidentally remove the digital rights from your entire music library of over 3000 songs, they drag their heels for over 2 months then offer 10 downloadable albums as compensation.

    What's the URL for iTunes?

    John.

     

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