CONNECT THE DOTS
The New York Times has an article on why Apple's store strategy has been more successful than other computer and electronics vendors over the last few years, as these numbers illustrate:
"Last month, Apple released results for the quarter ended March 31. More than 21.5 million people visited its stores, which now number more than 180.
Store sales were $855 million, up 34 percent from the quarter a year earlier, and they contributed more than $200 million in profits."
Specifically, the piece compares Apple's efforts to Sony's.
This quote from the NYTimes piece titled "Apple's Lesson for Sony's Stores: Just Connect", was particularly interesting, giving Sony's perspective on how they compare to Apple.
The reporter talks to the Sony executive in charge of the Sony store strategy:
"...Dennis Syracuse, senior vice president for Sony Retail, who assured me that Sony’s stores drew an average of 350,000 visitors annually per store. Mr. Syracuse rejected the idea that his store concept could be compared to Apple’s.
His stores were conceived, he said, as a “fashion boutique for women and children” that incidentally happened to carry electronics instead of clothing.
When describing how Sony had entered a new retail world as “fashion merchants,” he pointed with pride to the choice spot he had secured for the first store, next to Gucci and across from Versace.
Indeed, if you would like to accessorize an outfit with a color-coordinated laptop, the Sony Style store offers models in pink, violet, champagne and many more."
Talk about being not connected to your potential customers.
I've visited SonyStyle stores across the country, and anecdotally, have mostly seen more men browse the gizmos than women.
In fact whenever my wife and I are at the mall, and I suggest taking a look around in a Sony store, her typical reaction is to have me meet her at a clothing store next door after I'm done looking around in the Sony store.
When I pointed this article out to her this morning, and suggested that she think about a Sony laptop as a "fashion accessory", she responded with "Nice try, Honey".
Not sure Sony has figured out it's target markets for it's stores yet.