Palm Realizes It's Not Apple; Closes Retail Shops

from the so-much-for-that-plan dept

Over the last decade, plenty of technology hardware companies thought it would make sense to open their own retail shops. Sony, Gateway, Palm and Apple all went down that path. Of that list, only Apple has been able to turn those retail stores into something valuable. Gateway was the first, but its retail effort failed miserably. Sony’s retail effort was always based more on the idea that the stores are not there to sell products, but just to display them. Sony has always admitted that the stores were more about brand and product awareness than sales — but that’s partly because it doesn’t want to piss off its channel, so it prices everything quite high in its own stores. Apple doesn’t have that problem, as it has total control over its distribution channel and retail pricing. Of course, the difference here is that Apple’s stores and products are designed so people actually want them.

And then there’s Palm. Palm used to always be compared to Apple, back in the day. But, that was back in the day when Apple was a struggling computer company. Since Steve Jobs reinvented Apple as being cool again, those comparisons sort of disappeared. Its own retail strategy was clearly an attempt to copy Apple, but without the cool products (or the cool store design) it never did anything useful for the company. About the only surprise coming out of Palm’s decision to shut down its retail stores is that it took this long to decide to pull the plug.

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Companies: apple, gateway, palm, sony

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Comments on “Palm Realizes It's Not Apple; Closes Retail Shops”

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20 Comments
wasabifan says:

Re: Re: Re:

Okay…the agreement for Microsoft to make MS Office for Mac has expired.

Also, saying Apple without the iPod is nothing is sorta like saying Nintendo without the DS is nothing. Saying it doesn’t make it true, and taking a chunk away from a company and re-evaluating them is meaningless.

Apple makes good products and sells them at a premium. By doing so, they avoid the low-ball wars going on by so many other companies driving all profits out of their business. You may not like their business…but financially they are hardly sunk.

9u says:

I think we need to give palm credit for milking a product for all it’s worth. With a little money spent on some development, I think they’d still be viable. Unfortunately, the palm desktop is still pretty much the same internally from the days of when it was a USRobotics product. It’s got a hard time when you try to force it to work on any recent windows OS with things like roaming profiles, permissions less than that of administrator, etc.

ZeTron57 says:

Apple

Well since the iPod has caused Apple’s stock to soar, I guess they don’t need to worry about excessive spending.

An Apple store is coming into Santa Barbara next month. The store will be on our main street. For a 15,000 square foot space, Apple will be paying $68,000, a month!!

Sure, this store will be packed the first few months, but the traffic flow will drop and level off. I do not need them selling 68,000 a month in product, even without factoring in all the other monthly costs (staff, electric, ect.).

It’s just a huge (diabolically clever) Advertisement. Apple’s approach is the same as Sony’s. People who bought a Palm could do so online. People who buy Apples product can do so online too, but it’s all about getting the foot traffic and hands on experience. This is no different than Sony.

harknell (profile) says:

Hysterical

It’s funny, I walked past a Palm store recently (on Christams Eve actually) and absolutely no one was in the store. I actually did a double take since a Palm store seemed like such an illogical thing, I thought I had misread the sign. Who at that company thought this was a good idea?
Hmmm, stale product from 5 years ago, no real eye catching design, absolutely no user base loyalty (since they destroyed it with their lack of updates and support)….Yeah, that’ll add up to a successful retail strategy!

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