SAN DIEGO –
Sony Electronics has
added a third iteration to its lineup of
concepts for its retail partners.
The latest addition, dubbed Golden
Spaces, is smaller, more standardized
and easier to install than the manufacturer’s
in-store boutiques, which date
back to the 1980s, and shop-in-shops,
which first appeared in 2006.
Golden Spaces employ Europeanmade
fixtures, third-party promoters
and content from Sony Entertainment
to provide consumers with an “immersive
retail experience,” the company
said. Launched last year at 10 Fry’s,
American TV and Ultimate Electronics
locations, the concept provides a consistent
look that’s distinct from that of
SonyStyle stores while still conveying
a premium Sony brand
The current version is focused
on 3D TV and home entertainment,
the company said, and
investment and execution are
shared by Sony and its retail partners.
Due to their turnkey design,
Golden Spaces represent “a
much bigger opportunity” than
Sony’s other in-store shop concepts
and can easily scale up to
more than 100 locations over the
next few years, said Paul Spitale,
Sony’s regional and specialty accounts
Driving the expansion are encouraging
metrics that point to
higher average selling prices and
increased step-selling within the
Golden Spaces locations, Spitale
said, although Sony is still
working with retailers to find the
optimum balance of third-party
promoters and retail associates.
There is no sales threshold for
Sony dealers to qualify for a Golden
Spaces installation, although
requirements do include a “substantial
Sony business” and a minimum
two-year commitment, Spitale said.
In contrast, Sony’s shop-in-shops are
more consistent with the look of Sony-
Style stores, showcase the company’s
full line of products, and represent a
much more substantial investment for
both Sony and its participating dealers.
Sony maintains stricter requirements for
retail participation, including traffic levels,
and so far has limited the five-year-old
concept to eight retailers including Abt
Electronics, Electronics Expo, J&R Music
& Computer World, Nebraska Furniture
Mart, and Sixth Avenue Electronics.
Sony has taken a very conservative approach
to shop-in-shop build-out, Spitale
said, and presently envisions no more
than 18 installations around the country,
partly to avoid geographic overlap.
Boutiques, the oldest of the three shop
concepts, can be found at more than
25 retailers including Audio Video
Center, Stereo Advantage, Toys “R”
Us, Willoughby’s in Manhattan, and
at shop-in-shop partners
J&R and Sixth Avenue.
Unlike the other two concepts,
boutiques are not
designed to be extensions
of the Sony brand
at retail, but are individually
created by retailers through the creative
use of market development funds. The boutiques
are often built as vignettes and tend to
focus on a specific product category.