New York - With the opening of Gateway’s sixth and final pilot store here today, the only carryover from the old Country Store motif is the black and white Holstein cowhide cardboard boxes.
Gateway CEO Ted Waitt (pictured at right) not only officially opened store, but used the launch to introduce about a dozen new consumer electronics and computer products.
The store, located on Union Square in Manhattan, has been operating for several years under the old Country Store design, but was refurbished to better accommodate Gateway’s fast growing CE product line. Like the other pilot stores, which dropped the Country Store lable, the New York City location is built around a 'hearth area' which is anchored by a line of flat-panel and rear projection televisions with seating areas for customers.
The Manhattan store differs from the other pilot locations by having a more urban, industrial look with a bare cement floor, exposed steelwork and an unfinished ceiling. The others have a plush, living room setting. The most obvious change with the new layout is the preeminent position CE products are given. All are placed at the front of the store with the computers and peripherals stocked toward the rear.
Waitt said the merchandise line up is designed to give consumers more than one reason to visit a Country Store.
Waitt introduced 14 new reasons for customers to shop Gateway. The new products include two LCD TVs, a DVD+RW recorder/player, two digital cameras, a hard drive-based music jukebox, a Media Center PC designed for an A/V rack, three new notebook computers, Powerline and 802.11g home networking kits and two enterprise level network storage devices. All the products are either available immediately or will ship by mid-November.
With the addition of the new LCD TVs, Gateway now fields 12 televisions SKUs. The new models have 23-inch and 26-inch screens and street prices of $1,499 and $2,299, respectively.
The DVD recorder is priced at $349, but the Gateway 901 Media Center PC’s price is to be determined, but expected to be under $1,000. The company continued to fill out its digital camera line with the addition of the DC-T23 2-megapixel camera and the DC-M42 4.1 megapixel camera. The are priced at $129 and $249, respectively. With these models on the shelf Gateway now has seven branded cameras, but the stores continue to sell models from other vendors such as Minolta and Kodak.
The new notebooks are the M675, M505 and M275. The M675 line are a desktop replacement models with a 17-inch screen, Intel Pentium 4 processor with Hyper-threading technology and a price range of $1,999 to $2,499. The M505 is an entry-level multimedia-centric model with a 15.4-inch screen and a price range of $1,599 to $1,899. The M275 is a combination notebook and Tablet PC. Prices start at $1,799.
The three-piece Powerline networking system is a first for Gateway and is now available with a $49 price tag. The company also rolled out an 802.11g wireless adapter for $59.