EXCLUSIVE: Struggling Sony Australia has a new problem on their hands with the decision by Bing Lee to close the Chatswood, NSW Sony Central Store following a “massive” plunge in revenue.
One of the original Sony-branded stores in Australia, a store which has operated in Chatswood for more than 25 years, has seen revenue fall by two thirds since it was taken over by Bing Lee.
Previously owned by David & Andy Rose, the store has been transformed by Bing Lee from a thriving retail destination with a $13 Million per annum turnover to a store that today is struggling to hit $5 Million in turnover.
A person connected to the store said, “The lack of personalised service and knowledgeable floor sales staff drove the regular clientele away. Instead of the Apple model, they used the Bing Lee model.”
A former Sony Australia executive who recently left the Japanese company told ChannelNews that “all of the Sony Central stores are struggling, the Sony brand is disintegrating, the culture that use to prevail in the company has gone and Sony is struggling across every consumer electronics category that they operate in.”
“Other Sony Central Stores will shut up shop because the Sony brand is no longer seen as a premium brand,” the former employee said.
Sony Australia has 19 Sony Central Stores registered in Australia including a business name called ‘The Sony Shop.’
Run in partnership with retail partners, Sony Australia has openly competed with their own store partners by selling direct to consumers.
Neither Sony Australia or Bing Lee were available to comment.