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Sony 'Kiosk' Attacks Eels Country

By Oonagh Reidy & Computer Daily News | Monday | 15/04/2013

PARRAMATTA - Sony opens a new kiosk in Parramatta's Westfield Shopping Centre, but one retail boss warns about the perils of direct seling


The direct selling kiosk aims to let shoppers get hands-on experience with the company's latest products and is showcasing its new 84" 4K TV - the only place in NSW to do so.

Specialists will offer advice and educate shoppers about the products, with a specific focus on PCs, digital imaging and smartphones, Sony says, and consumers can make purchases directly.

This kiosk is one of several direct selling outlets Sony now has, including one in Sydney Chatswood after recently shutting its two Sony Centres in Sydney CBD and Drummoyne. There is now no Sony Centres in NSW.

Sony says this retail model offers shoppers the opportunity to get hands-on with products in a "flexible, high-traffic location."

However, the CEO of a major Aussie electronics retailer doubts the direct selling retail strategy, saying consumers prefer to compare models from various brands before they purchase.

"I think we may see some more of this in some overseas markets, but I believe consumers want independent advice on brands, they would like to make a choice on a brand, based on comparison with other similar brands. "

"Single branded outlets obviously can't deliver this," and only the biggest brands - like Apple - can get away with it, the exec warned.

"Brands that are driven by share cannot achieve their goals this way, they need distribution channels. To do this you need tremendous brand strength, and I believe only Apple has this at present."

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