You might see a bunch of fake news on the internet tomorrow, but considering what we've seen of Sony's new LA storefront, we're fairly certain this isn't a prank. That's right, Sony's launching a newly branded retail store in the City of Angels Friday, and from the look of things, it spared no expense. The 4,200-square foot space is the first to ditch the Sony Style moniker for the simpler Sony Store, and while the aesthetics are decidedly minimal, the experience is anything but. As you might expect, the shop offers demos of a slew of devices; it's packed full of everything from VAIOs to ray modelers to 3D Handycams, and it's also rocking a fully loaded home theater setup called "The Cube." Considering the outfit's been looking to up its retail cred, we'd say the new spot has the stuff to do the job, even if that bright white modular look does seem strangely familiar. If you're in the LA area, you can check out the new digs starting tomorrow -- if not, hit up the guided video tour above.
Sony Opens Doors to Exciting New Shopping Experience at the Century City Mall in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES, March 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Sony Electronics announced the opening of the first newly branded Sony store in the U.S., which offers an exciting new concept, design and customer experience. It will open its doors to the public on Friday, April 1.
Located at the Westfield Century City shopping mall in Los Angeles, the 4,200-square foot Sony store features a world-class architecture and design, making it a unique destination at which consumers can explore the complete Sony experience, including electronics, games, movies, music, network services and future technologies.
"Sony's goal is always to exceed customer expectations by providing an exciting, interactive and entertaining shopping experience," said Phil Molyneux, president and COO for Sony Electronics. "Our new store concept gives shoppers an opportunity to interact with trained and knowledgeable staff as well as preview, test, compare and unlock the full potential of Sony's entertainment offerings."
"The new store in Century City is a significant step in building a blueprint for future Sony stores, both in the U.S. and around the world," added Kiyoshi Shikano, Global Sales and Marketing Officer, Sony Corporation. "In this store, Sony is eager to test innovative offerings and listen and learn from customer feedback. We will gather opinions so that we can continually evolve and improve our retail experience, both here in the U.S. and around the world. As Sony is increasing its focus on providing its customers with an integrated shopping experience that features all that Sony has to offer, from hardware to content to services, all of its Sony Style stores and websites globally will also be transitioning branding from Sony Style to Sony."
In the spirit of Sony's make.believe brand message, the new store is designed to immediately capture the imagination of customers and engage with all that Sony has to offer, in an integrated, interactive and inspiring way.
The front of the new store features, literally, a window into the world of Sony. Inside, consumers will be able to access, experience and make connections with everything Sony, from testing out its network services -- including Music Unlimited and Video on Demand powered by Qriocity -- on network-connected products, to playing PlayStation's GranTurismo 5 on a PS3 and a Sony 3DTV. They will be able to shoot video on a wide range of cameras, get lost in a 3D movie from Sony Pictures, and test headphones while listening to Sony Music artists.
The store also provides a place to learn about future and emerging technologies and innovations. For instance, the Century City store will feature Sony's RayModeler, a futuristic 360-degree display prototype that projects a 3D image that can be seen from all angles.
Highest Level of Personalized Services
With the opening of the new store, Sony is introducing Premium Services to provide customers with an exceptional support experience for all Sony products from set-up to service and repair facilitation. Services include assistance and education by trained staff with setting up all products, activation of wireless services, and technical PC and IT support by certified technicians. Also available are in-home consultation, delivery, and TV, and home audio and video installation by authorized technicians.
Grand Opening Weekend
In conjunction with Los Angeles' 102.7 KIIS FM radio, the first 102 people to enter the new Sony store each day from April 1-3 will receive a Sony Instant Play Pass for a chance to win one of 102 prizes, including a Sony Internet TV, a Sony VAIO notebook PC, a Reader digital book, a Bloggie camera and a pair of PIIQ headphones.
A live performance by Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Natasha Bedingfield is scheduled to take place in the store at 4 p.m. on April 2 featuring songs from her new album release called Strip Me. Sponsored by Sony Network Entertainment, this event will include a meet and greet opportunity with Bedingfield as well as hands-on demonstrations of Sony's streaming music service, Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity.
Additionally, customers who scan the in-store QR code with their smartphones will be instantly entered for a chance to win a pair of tickets to KIIS FM's day-long music festival, Wango Tango. Two sets of four tickets for the store's grand opening weekend and one set of four tickets per week through the end of April will be awarded.
Design and Location
The new store was designed in collaboration with Klein Dytham architecture (KDa). It features a bright, open, inviting space, with products displayed on tables so that consumers can personally interact and engage with them like they would in a home environment. The layout of the store is flexible, with movable interior walls and changeable color schemes so that it can be adapted and reconfigured to highlight specific products, services, or content to engage and delight customers with fresh experiences each time they return.
The Sony Store is located at 10259 Santa Monica Blvd. in the Westfield Century City shopping mall in Los Angeles. Regular store hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12 to 7 p.m. on Sunday. A directory of all 30 Sony stores across the U.S. can be found at www.sony.com/sonystore.