STEP RIGHT UP
Apple has a successful retail store strategy galloping past a billion dollars in revenues, and I guess Sony feels a need to potentially counter that. This despite Sony fielding a handful of it's SonyStyle stores around the country. But it's 147 to 35 from what I can tell so far.
Well, Sony may have a strategy to counter the increasing ubiquity of Apple stores: Sony Vending Machines!
The New York Times has more on the story:
"With the installation of new souped-up automated kiosks in three shopping malls this week, Sony hopes to make the purchase of many of its electronics products as easy as buying a piece of chocolate.
The first locations — in malls in Atlanta; Boulder, Colo.; and Santa Rosa, Calif. — are part of a bigger test by Sony to increase sales by melding the simplicity of online buying with the immediate gratification of a store purchase."
These are not ordinary vending machines. They don't accept cash for one thing, and they have their own Internet connectivity for up to the minute pricing. Sony hopes to get 10 or more of these things deployed by the end of this year, and presumably far more next year, assuming the initial run goes well.
Now they just have to make sure they can fill the things up with gizmos that mainstream folks will buy.