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Abt Opens Sony Shop

Glenview, Ill. — Abt Electronics has opened a 1,700-square-foot Sony boutique that the manufacturer describes as its largest and most elaborate store-within-a-store project to date. The shop, a scaled-down version of Sony’s own SonyStyle retail stores, is Abt’s fourth dedicated boutique, joining similar setups for Apple, Bang & Olufsen and SubZero/Wolf.

Roughly one-fifth of the Sony shop’s space is occupied by a home theater installation featuring a 60W-inch XBR2 RPTV, the six-piece Platinum DVD and surround sound system, and bench-style seating. Other products include digital cameras, camcorders and photo printers, gaming consoles, computers, and boomboxes. Interactive demos include a PlayStation guitar game setup on a 46W-inch flat panel LCD, Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution dance pad and a functional camera-computer-printer display.

“Products that work together are displayed together,” said Jay Vandenbree, president of Sony Consumer Sales Company. “This gives consumers a perspective they can’t get in traditional category-by-category merchandising.”

The shop is staffed by specially-trained Abt personnel, and all boutique products, except computers and gaming equipment, are also displayed on Abt’s main sales floor.

“We designed our showroom for experienced-based shopping and our Sony shop fits right in with that strategy,” said CEO Bob Abt. “This is a simple and enjoyable way to shop.”

Indeed, Abt’s 65,000-square-foot sales floor is renowned for its interactive attractions, including a plasma TV windmill and signature 7,500 gallon fish tank. The PRO Group dealer and recent TWICE Excellence in Retailing Award winner is also a favorite proving ground for manufacturers from Whirlpool to Yamaha for testing new products and concepts