“To me, that’s a big lesson we learned as we built these stores up—listening to people and paying attention to what they’re saying.” The educational aspect of the stores has also been a key success for Sony’s stores. “People come in and want to learn how to use product; they want to learn the new technology, what HDTV means and how to use digital imaging, etc. There’s been a lot of interest over the year in that.” Syracuse concludes that retail spaces have to look good as well as work well. “They need to be a total solution, especially for women.” Sony was hoping to have expanded to 30 stores by the end of 2005 and they’re planning to add another seven stores by the end of this year.
Improving Retail Space
At this year’s Photo Marketing Association (PMA) show the Complete Picture Inspiration Center (see sidebar below) showcased hands-on lifestyle experiences designed specifically for what PMA feels is the industry’s most powerful target market—the Gen-X Mom (they’ve named her Jennifer, a popular Gen-X name).