Sony Australia, who is already selling direct to consumer online, is not saying whether they intend to open their own “destination” retail stores in Westfield shopping centres after the global head of Sony’s retail stores said that Sony was looking to expand “worldwide”.
ChannelNews, has been told that Westfield, approached Sony Australia, about the concept of a new store in Australia, after Sony opened a new Sony Style store at Westfield Century City, in Los Angeles, that delivers what Sony is describing as a “a complete Sony experience”.
Some say that it is a 100% knock off of an Apple store concept.
Sony Australia already has several Sony branded stores in Australia in partnership with retail partners they also own 19 business names for stores across Australia as well as the business name, The Sony Shop.
The new Westfield LA store, delivers live demos of Sony products including, video games, cameras, headphones, 3D movies, and networked services like Music Unlimited and Video on Demand powered by Qriocity.
It will also showcase future and emerging technologies and innovations, such as Sony’s RayModeler, a 360-degree display prototype that projects a 3D image which can be seen from all angles.
And in what appears to be a rip off of the Apple store concept, Sony as launched a “premium” service area reminiscent of Apple’s famed Genius Bar, which will provide customers with assistance and education by trained staff and certified technicians.
16 months Sony hired Apple’s regional store director Linda Turner as senior VP of Sony Style retail stores, and gave her responsibility for the chain’s strategic and operational direction.
Zeena Freeman, who heads up Sony’s global retail office said that the new Westfield store was “a significant step in building a blueprint for future Sony stores, both in the U.S. and around the world”.
“In this store, Sony is eager to test innovative offerings and listen and learn from customer feedback. We will gather opinions so that we can continually evolve and improve our retail experience, both here in the U.S. and around the world,” she said.