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Sony opens Apple-like Nagoya store

updated 11:20 am EDT, Sun March 14, 2010

Sony Store Nagoya has Genius Bar clone

As promised, Sony on Saturday launched its first flagship retail store. The two-storey Sony Store Nagoya showcases most of Sony's home lineup and is built to emulate the success Apple has had with stores like its Ginza location. Besides bright, open areas, it includes a designer (though not glass) staircase and even a Genius Bar-style service, nicknamed backStage, for getting technical support and training.

The first floor is said to be the most familiar and focuses on mobile devices like notebooks, cameras and Walkman players, all of which are shown working together. Sony's second floor focuses on 3D TVs and other home theater equipment in addition to hosting the backStage service. Each floor has Stylists who, like Apple Specialists, can inform customers in addition to helping them with their purchases.

Other flagship Sony Stores are expected in the future but didn't get a launch schedule in the wake of the Nagoya opening. Unlike Microsoft's two largely marketing-driven US stores to date, however, Sony expects to drive sales through its stores. Sony marketing president Shin Kurita has noted that, while the company's internal sales goals are private, he expects flagships to help bring more sales to Sony overall both through the actual flagship and through brand awareness in the area.

Retail locations have only been a partial factor, but Sony in recent years has been hurt by Apple's presence in Japan as the American company upset a once secure lead in certain areas, such as portable media players. Sony has had retail stores for years but until recently had average-sized locations and little to no after-sale support. [story and photos via Impress]

by MacNN Staff



  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    A True Pioneer

    "Unlike Microsoft's two largely marketing-driven US stores to date, however, Sony expects to drive sales through its stores."

    - A store in which you actually plan to sell stuff ... as in "make money from?" What a great idea! If a tech company is able to actually make money this way, this whole idea of having stores to sell your products could catch on throughout the whole retail sales industry.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple leads

    everyone else follows.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. lolcat789

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Computer help?

    Last time I checked, IT departments were around long before any apple products were popular. Further, the only reason the 'genius' bar exists is so idiot mac fans can get the help they need and feel appreciated, when anybody whose half literate could figure it out with a google search.

  1. LunarMoon

    Joined: Dec 1969



    it is pathetic how big companies copycat Apple. The day Apple launched the iTurd all these crappy companies will copy.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Talk about copy cats...

    It's been a long time since Apple first opened up it's retail stores to the cry of "Apple retail stores will fail." Now that the Apple stores have proven wildly successful, every tech company absolutely has to copy them. Good luck, Sony. One thing they're apparently missing, though. The store doesn't seem "packed" with customers at all. It looks as though "Irasshaimase" might only be heard a few times a day.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    As lolcat789 pointed out...

    How is the IT helpdesk (aka Genius Bar) a revolutionary idea? Points given perhaps to jazz it up and make it seem more than it is (A Steve Jobs specialty).

    I actually walked into an Apple store for the first time to see what the fuss is all about. I was impressed at the store's appearance. Large, bright, clean, uncluttered, A LOT of staff on hand and A LOT of computers on display. Until I took a closer look at what was actually on display.... A grand total of 9 computers.

    There were banks and banks of MBP's, MB's and a few MBA's. Half that huge store was displaying 5 computers. wtf? A quarter of that huge store were a few short banks of IM's, MM's, and MP's. The remaining quarter was the software, accessories, and the revolutionary "Genius Bar".

    I typical Jobsian over-hyped fashion, a computer store displaying 9 computers, some software, accessories and a help desk was blown into something that it really isn't. But it does seem like a nice store to shop in.

    The Sony store does appear to take some queue's from the Apple store layout wise. I just hope there is more substance for it's given size.

  1. dimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    First off, you meant "cues" not "queue's" right?

    How many IT help desks have you interacted with? How many knew how to support Apple products? BTW, saying "It's not supported." isn't support. The Genius Bar isn't a help desk: it's there to answer questions, not just fix problems.

    What does it matter how many systems are on display? Can you get the hands-on time you need with the models you are considering? If so, what's wrong with not having the store cluttered with multiple systems all doing the same thing? And are MacBooks and MacBook Pros in some way 'not' computers? You lost me.

    The Apple Retail model is to have one of every major line on display, and enough stock in back that as long as you don't need CTO you can pick up everything you need in a single trip: computer and screen (or laptop), software, iPod, advice and go. No muss no fuss. And to take the buyer out of the mouse-breathing, I-know-more-than-you space of the CompUSA's et al. service. And guess what? It works, in spades.

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    oh wrenchy

    are you the newest troll here? well, welcome! just so you are forewarned, i eat trolls for breakfast.
    ok pumpkin?

  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It's amazing how Apple set a ripple throughout computer/electronic retail stores. Perhaps CompUSA's a** will be saved if they did the copycat also. One giant table has all HP printers to play with. One giant table on the other side with all the computer parts you can put together.... just like those LEGO tables. And a CompUSA "Genius Bar" that answers all your car sale questions except computers related.

  1. CaptainHaddock

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just Around the Corner

    I live in Nagoya. I guess I'll have to go check it out next time I'm in Sakae.

    "The two-storey Sony Store Nagoya showcases most of Sony's home lineup and is built to emulate the success Apple has had with stores like its Ginza location."

    Actually, since they built the store in Nagoya around the corner from the Apple store, I'd guess Sony is trying to emulate the success Apple has had with stores like its *Nagoya* location.

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