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EXCLUSIVE: Sony Australia has officially opened their new Sony Central store in Drummoyne with store staff admitting that Sony is playing a key part in the launch of the new store and that the Japanese Company will soon launch a new OLED TV in Australia.

Run in conjunction with Bing Lee the store, which is located on Victoria Road, in Drummoyne NSW, primarily, focuses on the sale of Bravia LCD TV’s, notebooks, home theatre kits, cameras and Blu ray along with Sony accessories. Missing is Sony’s 2 channel audio range.

ChannelNews and SmartHouse were given an exclusive tour of the store at the weekend when Sony Australia staff was present in the store.


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In store pricing has been slashed with visitors to the store offered a big 1 of 3 bonus offer for buyers of a Sony Bravia LCD TV’s including the choice of a free home theatre system, a 5 year extended warranty delivery and installation or a $500 Virgin Blue Holiday Voucher.

Also on show is a $6,999 Sony 11″ OLED TV with store staff admitting, that no models had been sold and that several customers had complained about the price.

One senior store manager said “The store is going well. We have increased business each week and one in three visitors to the store is buying a Sony product. A big advantage is the pricing that Sony is offering. This is helping as we have products on sale that are significantly cheaper than Harvey Norman”.

 When asked about Sony’s 200Hz Motionflow technology Vs new 600Hz plasma TV technology from Samsung, LG and Panasonic a Sony store assistant said “600Hz is not real technology and is only available to plasma TV. Not many people are buying plasma TV because it is not as good as LCD TV technology” they said.

 

 

“Samsung has been forced to discount their products and they are also misleading people about LED TV technology. It is not real LED and the Sony Motionflow is still the superior TV technology” they added.


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Another manager in the store said “Most of the Sony Bravia LCD TV’s we sell are made in Malaysia and the ones we have ranged here are cheaper than other Bing Lee stores because of our special relationship with Sony and because we are a new Sony store. We are planning to open other stores but I don’t know when. Bing Lee management are currently talking to Sony about new stores”.

Also on sale i the store was Australia’s most expensive 8″netbook, the VAIO P5 which was selling for $2,299. Alongside this was the Sony Vaio AW 37 Notebook which was listed at $4,499. The new Sony Eco Bravia LCD TV was listed at $2,999 for the 40″.

When asked about OLED TV technology a senior manager said “We have just had training in Sydney where we were shown a new larger sized OLED TV that I believe is going on sale soon. This was used as part of our training” they said.

A Sony catalogue said that Sony stores were now open in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth as well as 3 stores in Sydney.

 

Recently, ChannelNews revealed that Sony Australia has registered 19 Sony Centre business names in Australia. We were also told that retailers who partner with Sony get preferential treatment and that Sony gets a higher return than dealing with other mass retailers such as Harvey Norman or JB Hi Fi.

We have also been told that several retailers have approached Sony to become a Sony Centre partner with the Japanese vendor.

Later this year Sony is set to start taking business away from mass retailers, when they launch a new PSP Go and next year a new Playstation console and Bravia LCD TV’s that force consumers to buy Sony gaming, music and movie content from a new Sony content Network.

The drive that is in the current model PSP is set to be removed with consumers forced to go online to buy content. These say analysts will hurt retailers while delivering for Sony a significant higher return than selling content via a traditional retailer.    

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