Sony is preparing to debut a brand new type of store in Japan, and more importantly a new retail direction for the company altogether. The “Sony Store Nagoya” (press release, official sonystorenagoya twitter) will open in the Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture on March 13th, and is reminiscent of what Apple and Microsoft are doing these days with their brand specific stores. This is a rather interesting move that Sony had hinted at in their Investor/Analyst Meeting back in late November of last year.
The architect Sony used for this store is one of the most prolific in Japan – Tadao Ando (wikipedia) – who is behind such projects such as the Tokyo Sky Tree, the revamped Piccadilly Gardens, Hyōgo Prefectural Museum of Art amongst hundreds of other creations around the world.
In these exclusive, high resolution pictures, we can see Sony’s goal with this new store is to introduce its latest technology through innovative product displays for enhanced sales. The company also hopes to improve the public’s perception of its networked products and services. Just like an Apple Store, there will also be “stylists” on hand with immense expertise to help with product suggestions. However, these representatives will go a step above by directly communicating with Sony on their experiences and valuable feedback from the consumer.
The new Sony Store will also offer service and repair services, similar to what SonyStyle stores already offer.
Another interesting element of this store is that Sony will also work closely with local Sony dealers in the area. They are planning to hold a “Sony’s Fair in Nagoya,” where 50 dealers from around the area will come together and collaborate on strategy, marketing activities, and so forth.
The first floor will have VAIO, Walkman, Cyber-shot, Handycam, PSP and Sony Ericsson products – consumers will be able to look at, use, touch and enjoy all devices in those categories. On the second floor, the more advanced Blu-ray, BRAVIA, and other home theater/living room devices will be found. Sony also will have product consultants on the second floor who can help ensure you use optimal settings, personal lessons (how-to classes), etc.
As for the fate of the other SonyStyle stores around the world, don’t fret – this seems like an experiment; Sony isn’t going to get rid of those anytime soon. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if you start seeing more stores styled in this fashion pop up in other places aside from Japan.