Sony Opens Latest In-Store Shop At Sixth Avenue Electronics

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WILMINGTON, DEL. —

Sixth Avenue Electronics has opened its first Sony store-within-a-store.

The in-store shop formally debuted earlier this month at the CE and appliance chain’s 45,000-square-foot Concord Pike location here, a former Circuit City storefront that was reportedly its top-performing site.

The dedicated space features a full array of Sony products, including cameras and camcorders, laptops and netbooks, e-book readers and 3DTVs, said Tom Galanis, Sixth Avenue’s operations VP.

Sony began placing the departments, dubbed “shop-in-shops,” four years ago at dealers ranging from fellow Progressive Retailers Organization (PRO Group) members Bjorn’s and Abt Electronics, to Nebraska Furniture Mart and Toys “R” Us’ flagship store in Times Square.

This month’s grand opening included product demonstrations of 3DTV and other technologies by Sony and Sixth Avenue staff, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Sixth Avenue CEO Mike Temiz, chairman Billy Temiz and Sony consumer sales director Tom Mykietyn.

Galanis said the 19-store chain, which now stretches from Long Island to Delaware, plans to expand the shops to additional locations.

Sixth Avenue itself has been in expansion mode following the implementation of a management software system from Germany’s SAP AG, which has streamlined and standardized virtually every element of the chain’s operations from order entry, sales compensation and warranty commission, to rebate-tracking, vendor invoicing and demand-planning.

Building on that platform, Sixth Avenue added the Delaware store, opened three locations within the Philadelphia market, and acquired a 500,000-square-foot distribution and office facility in nearby Somerset, N.J., to support the expansion.

On the merchandising front, the privately-held retailer is rolling out dedicated PC and gaming sections to its showrooms, and is developing vignette-based majap departments after entering the white-goods category last year. The chain hired former Best Buy appliance merchant Tom Cook to lead the effort, which began with the Crowley kitchen line and more recently expanded to include LG Electronics’ complete majap assortment.

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