Sony Bringing "Experience" Mini-Stores to Best BuyMay 1, 2014 By Stephen Silver
SAN FRANCISCO- Sony announced Thursday at a press briefing in San Francisco that it will open "Sony Experience at Best Buy" mini-retail stores in 350 Best Buy locations nationwide, with the rollout set to begin soon. Michael Fasulo, Sony Electronics' president and COO, announced the move as part of Sony's new strategy.
The Sony Experience will emphasize a variety of products, including 4K TVs, hi-res audio, 4K media players and more. It will also feature a touchscreen that allows users to easily drag-and-drop the names of series to watch on the TVs in the stores.
Also on Thursday, Samsung announced a similar tie-up with Best Buy.
The mini-stores will be staffed by Best Buy employees, trained by Sony. Other Sony products will remain in other parts of Best Buy, including Magnolia areas; Sony headphones, for example, will remain in the headphone aisle.
When we asked Fasulo if the Best Buy deal means Sony is giving up on its own standalone retail stores- of which it closed more than half earlier this year- Fasulo said no, calling it a "hub and spoke strategy." He added that Sony already has store-within-a-store locations at the likes of Abt Electronics and Bjorn's.