Fairfield, N.J. — Panasonic’s Lumix camera division became the latest top- tier CE manufacturer to announce plans to open a store-in-store vendor-managed retailing space in the past several weeks.
Panasonic said it will unveil its first Lumix Lounge concept store-within-a-store in the United States at the 50,000-square-foot Unique Photo superstore here on May 12.
The company said it will use the occasion to debut its recently announced Lumix GH4 hybrid photo/video compact system camera, which features 4K video recording.
The “lounge” is the latest in a recent spate of vendor-managed store-in-store showrooms announced in recent weeks, although this adaptation does not include Best Buy as the selling partner.
Both Sony and Samsung announced two weeks ago that they were opening similar retail showrooms in Best Buy stores across the country.
Panasonic’s Lumix Lounge approach is the first to target a photo specialty store. Although the store carries a wide range of electronics categories other products as well. Unique Photo is located at 123 U.S. Highway 46 West in Fairfield, N.J.
Unique Photo pointed out that it has run a similar store-in-store program in the past, using cellphone service provider T-Mobile.
Panasonic plans to “put products directly into the hands of consumers in a brick-and-mortar setting while also reaching millions of others through social media,” the company said.
The companies will broadcast the launch event live on Google+ through a hangout at 1 p.m. Eastern time. The Lumix Lounge comprises 750 square feet of floor space and will provide product demos and sales opportunities.
Panasonic said it will use the merchandising showcase to bring together not only its latest Lumix products but new audio, adventure and massage chair products as well.
Among the featured products will be headphones, portable audio, mobile power, smartphones, Bluetooth, connected home solutions and lifestyle-based products.
The lounge concept is also expected to feature Unique Photo’s new coffee bar and provide a setting for photography enthusiasts to share and exchange ideas, the retailer said.
The Lumix Lounge at Unique Photo will also serve as a location for Panasonic to engage with the photo community through social media and future Google+ hangouts.
“Panasonic innovates a wide range of products that enhance many facets of consumers’ lives,” said Julie Bauer, Panasonic Consumer Electronics company president. “Unique Photo is the ideal retailer to debut our first Lumix Lounge and showcase our wide range of cutting-edge consumer products in a way that lets consumers get hands-on with our products. We are very pleased to partner with Unique Photo to drive creative experiential initiatives in the ever-changing retail dynamic.”
“We’re proud to be selected as the site of Panasonic’s new concept store, we’re all about getting cameras and related products directly into the hands of our customers so they can make informed decisions about their purchases,” said Matt Sweetwood, Unique Photo president. “The new Lumix Lounge will provide added value to our shoppers’ experience in our store.”
Sweetwood said the vendor showroom will allow him “to maximize the store’s large floor plan.”
“It’s all about bringing together the synergies of how today’s consumers take pictures,” said Sweetwood. “Our business was started more than 65 years ago on the concept of meeting the needs of our customers. The new Lumix Lounge is the next evolution in doing so.”
Regarding the retail launch of the Lumix GH4 4K compact system camera, Panasonic said it will bring Rick Gerrity, a noted professional photographer and Lumix Luminary brand ambassador based in Cranford, N.J., to the launch event for demonstrations.