For now, only select Sony premium products, said Vandenbree, would continue to be sold under the Sony SURE (Sony Unified Resale Execution) premium-product pricing program, which rolled out in June and applies to certain SKUs in Sony’s digital SLR, XBR 7 and 8 Bravia TV, ES receiver and 1080p front projector lines. It is a program, he said, which “focuses around what a retailer needs to survive and what a consumer needs to know when he goes shopping.” Under the plan, Sony can set the advertised and purchase price for a product and the retailer must operate under that agreement or face penalties.
Reflecting on the Circuit City Chapter 11 filing, Glasgow commented that he was hopeful the retailer would emerge from bankruptcy, adding that Sony “has been through several retail bankruptcies” and had wanted to support the dealer but “took precautions” to protect itself. Vandenbree said that the chain offered a unique value equation to the marketplace. Its focus on buying online and store pickup offline had garnered “good consumer reaction,” he remarked, “and they pushed their TV assortments very hard. Their new concept stores were a good foray into the future of electronics. But they had trouble operationally – a lot of real estate in the wrong places.”
Sony, said Glasgow, would continue to put resources toward product innovation, with a continued focus on TV applications of OLED technology. “We are working hard on the next generation in screen size and performance, and on OLED’s benefits as an energy-saving product. It is a massive R&D effort in Sony.”