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Sony Style: 40+ Stores in 40 Days

by Team Sony 06/01/2008

I’m off.  
 
Flying to
Atlanta today to visit the first of more than 40 Sony Style stores around the country.  First stop is on Monday at our store in the fabulous Lenox Square in the hip Buckhead section of the city.
 
The plan is to stop by each and every one of Sony’s now 42 stores within a 40-day period.  Along the way, I will be meeting with people who come into the shops, the malls and the cities where the stores are located to get firsthand consumer feedback about Sony, the stores, our products, technologies and the brand.  It will also be a great opportunity for me to hear from our frontline Sony Style personnel about their ideas for improving our relationship with consumers in their areas.
 
Of course, I’ll be blogging every step of the way. I am also planning to share some videos and perhaps a few podcasts as well.  It should be interesting to see both the differences and the similarities in terms of how people relate to Sony in one area versus another.  For example, what products do people in the Las Vegas store prefer compared to Palo Alto or Kansas City. Or, how is Sony’s brand image and reputation holding up in Southern California, New York, Ohio and Florida.  


I’m looking forward to leaning about our consumers’ experiences with Sony, whether it’s in how they learn about our products, how they purchase them or how satisfied they are with our customer service, along with their interest in new technologies, new products and corporate initiatives like our national electronics recycling program.
 
After the inaugural Atlanta visit, the first week’s stops will include Sony Style stores in
Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, New York City and Long Island. There’ll also be a few side trips in route, such as the CNN center and Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta, where I’ll have the opportunity to interact with more folks. My trip to New York at the end of the week coincides with some anticipated news announcements involving new top-of-the-line BRAVIA televisions and exciting new content partners for the BRAVIA Internet Video Link service. (Stay tuned.)
 
Check out the tour schedule below.  And if you’ll be in any of the areas surrounding Sony Style stores when I’m in town, please stop by and say hello.


Store City  Date Time of Visit
Week 1      
Lenox Square Atlanta, GA June 2nd 10am-12pm
Mall at Millenia Orlando, FL June 3rd 12-2pm
International Plaza & Bay Street Tampa, FL June 3rd 4-5pm
The Gardens of the Palm Beaches West Palm Beach, FL June 4th  10-12pm
Town Center at Boca Raton Boca Raton, FL June 4th  3-4pm
Sony Plaza Manhattan, NY  June 6th  12:30-1:30pm
Roosevelt Field Mall  Garden City, NY June 6th  2:30-3:30pm 
Week 2      
Forum Shops Las Vegas, NV June 9th  5-6pm
Fashion Square Scottsdale, AZ June 10th  10-11am
The Domain Austin, TX June 11th 10-11am 
Dallas Galleria Dallas, TX June 11th  5-6pm
The Shops at LaCantera San Antonio, TX June 12th  10-11am 
Houston Galleria Houston, TX June 13th  10-11am 
The Woodlands Mall  The Woodlands, TX June 13th  12-1pm 
Week 3      
Fashion Center at Pentagon City Arlington, VA June 16th 6:30-7:30pm
Tyson’s Corner McLean,VA June 17th 11am-12pm
King of Prussia King of Prussia, PA June 17th  3-4pm
Menlo Park Edison, NJ June 17th  8-9pm
Garden State Plaza Paramus, NJ June 18th  1-2pm
Westchester Mall White Plains, NY  June 18th  3:30-4:30pm
Copley Place Boston, MA June 19th  10-11am
Burlington Mall  Burlington, MA June 19th  12-1pm
Providence Providence, RI June 19th  2:30-3:30pm
Week 4      
Fashion Valley San Diego, CA June 23rd 12:30-1:30pm
Week 5      
South Coast Plaza Costa Mesa, CA June 30th 7-8pm
Beverly Center Mall Los Angeles, CA June 30th 2:30-3:30pm
Topanga Plaza Canoga Park, CA June 30th 11:30a-12:30pm
Valley Fair Santa Clara, CA July 1st 10-11am
Stanford Shopping Center Palo Alto, CA July 1st 2-3pm
Metreon San Francisco, CA July 1st 4:30-5:30pm
Washington Square Tigard, OR July 2nd  10-11am
University Village Seattle, WA July 2nd  5-6pm
Cherry Creek Mall  Denver, CO July 3rd 2-3pm
Week 6       
Woodfield Mall  Schaumburg (Chicago), IL July 7th  3-4pm
Old Orchard Skokie (Chicago), IL  July 7th  5-6pm
Somerset Collection Troy (Detroit), MI July 8th  12:30-1:30pm
Beachwood Place Mall Beachwood (Cleveland), OH July 8th  7-8pm
Easton Town Center Columbus, OH July 9th  11-12pm
Kenwood Town Centre Cincinnati, OH July 9th  3-4pm
Fashion Mall at Keystone Indianapolis, IN July 9th  8-9pm
West Country Mall  St. Louis, MO July 10th  3:30-4:30pm
Country Club Plaza Kansas Ciy, MO July 11th  2:30-3:30pm

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  1. guest_user wrote: June 1, 2008 3:24pm

    Hi Rick,

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog lately, keeping up with the busy world of Sony. I’m writing for TV
    Technology and TVNewsday, among others, and last week interviewed Alec Shapiro and Rob Willox for a
    couple of articles I’ll be submitting.

    If I’m near any of the stores on your busy itinerary, I’ll drop by and say hello.

    Best,

    Peter

    Peter Caranicas
    peter.caranicas@gmail.com

    Reply
  2. guest_user wrote: June 2, 2008 11:51am

    Sounds good Peter, Appreciate you checking out the blog. I’m currently at our store in Atlanta. Will be in New York later this week.

    Reply
  3. guest_user wrote: June 2, 2008 1:35pm

    Dear Rick,
    This is going to be a great experience and a demanding task that Sony has bestowed on you. I hope
    you will be able to get a good grasp of Sony retail performance and at the same time meet face to
    face with its workers and customers. I will try to make it to one of the stores in the DC area and
    say hello as well. I hope you will be able to take off after this 40 day tour and rest some as you
    will need it.
    Look forward to your posts as always.
    Stan M.

    Reply
  4. guest_user wrote: June 2, 2008 5:07pm

    Hey Rick,
    Here to drop a comment.Thanks for stopping by our store at Lenox in Atlanta.
    The staff and I had a great time talking you and showing you our store. Hope
    the trip will be as pleasant as our visit =)

    Charles

    Reply
  5. guest_user wrote: June 2, 2008 9:13pm

    Thanks Charles,

    Appreciated the hospitality from you and the entire team.

    You’re are off to a great start in the Atlanta store. Sharp, enthusiastic staff combined with a base of smart, supportive Sony consumers makes for an excellent combination.

    Just wrote my post from the visit, which should be up shortly.

    All the best.

    Reply
  6. guest_user wrote: June 2, 2008 9:19pm

    Hi Stan,

    Look forward to meeting you on the Sony Style swing through the DC suburbs in Virginia. As always, I appreciate your input on the blog.

    Many thanks.

    Reply
  7. guest_user wrote: June 3, 2008 1:56am

    I’m curious to find out how well versed the store personnel are in all the
    products sold in the Sony Style stores. Specifically, how knowledgeable is the
    staff is the DSLR area. Are there specific ‘experts’ for the DSLRs? It is one
    thing to sell a Rolly or a LCD TV, but it is another to have someone who can
    get into a serious discussion of photography. From some of the posts I’ve
    seen on this forum, not to mention other forums, the personnel are not serious
    photo people, like you are more likely to find in a camera store. I went into a
    Ritz Camera store, where my friend is the store manager. He was in the
    process of hiring, and every one being considered, had an interest in
    photography.

    Reply
  8. guest_user wrote: June 3, 2008 11:27am

    Hey Rick,

    I’m looking forward to seeing you in Boca Raton. I’m one of the concierge associates at the store.

    And to try to help Clint out, at least in our store, we have a couple of Alpha specialists. If you just inquire around the store, they should be able to point them out to you. All of our associates get training in our products, and are encouraged to use the items hands on, but finding the Alpha expert will definately be more rewarding if you have some in-depth photography questions.

    Kelly

    Reply
  9. guest_user wrote: June 3, 2008 7:00pm

    Rick,
    Good luck on the trip. I’m pretty sure you’ll be inundated with DSLR folks
    wanting to talk about Sony SURE program that went into effect 1 June.
    Forcing retailers to raise the market price of, oh say the HVL-F56AM Flash by
    50% might cause a bit of a backlash. You might want to bring along the
    proverbial suit of armor.

    Reply
  10. guest_user wrote: June 3, 2008 9:46pm

    Rick…
    It was a pleasure having you and Ana here in Tampa this afternoon.
    I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!!
    Good Luck with the rest of your trek accross the country and we hope to see
    you both again soon.
    Thanks again,
    Andrew and Team Tampa

    Reply
  11. guest_user wrote: June 4, 2008 9:34pm

    Rick,

    I am the sales manager for the store In San Antonio, TX, looking forward to having you in our store later this month. Interesting to hear how all the stores differ from each other, and we wonder what great things you will be able to take back to corporate that may change the retail chain to grow the business and enhance our customer’s experience in our stores. You hold a great opportunity to change the way we think of ourselves in retail and the influence to make those you meet feel greater about their part as brand ambassadors for Sony.

    See you soon,

    Phil

    Reply
  12. guest_user wrote: June 5, 2008 12:27pm

    Hello,

    In response to clint, at all 42 Sony Style stores , we focus on ALL Sony products, including Alpha bodies and lenses. We also have Digital Imaging specialists who are current with the latest developments in all of our camera lines. I guarantee you that if we do not know the answer right away, we can definitely get you the right answer in a short amount of time. It was great to see Rick and his crew interacting with customers in a Style store environment, and we are excited that the SURE program has gone into effect.

    See you soon!

    Reply
  13. guest_user wrote: June 5, 2008 12:57pm

    Thanks for your input Clint,

    Indeed, when it comes to Alpha, our Sony Style representatives are becoming extremely well versed in the category. Of course, their expertise centers
    around our camera mounts, lenses and accessories. Many of the staff are enthusiastic photographers themselves and have an Alpha strapped around
    their necks in the stores so they’re ready for any shot. In fact, I noticed a couple stores were displaying the staff’s own DSLR creations in the new Sony digital photo frames. The articulating live view feature on the 300 and 350 models was generating interest at a couple stores I visited this week. This all said, we are working hard to develop deeper relations with the camera
    shops as well.

    Reply
  14. guest_user wrote: June 8, 2008 3:18pm

    Rick,

    I think it is essential that Sony USA get some A200 and A300/350s into
    Costco ASAP. Especially for this upcoming Fall and holiday season.
    Nikon and Canon dominate in this major retailer for “special package”
    amateur DSLR kits. For example, they have a Nikon D60 with 18-55 VR
    + 55-200 VR for $824.99. Similar D80 kit for $1180 and a D40 kit as low
    as $550. Similar Canon deals. They even sell some lenses on the web
    only store!
    Sony does sell PS cameras at Costco. What is the problem that Sony is
    so slow to see where Nikon, in particular, is coming at them with full
    force? Sony is not reacting enough and fast enough where it needs to
    react to counter the Nikon and now Canon reactions. Sony needs to be
    more aggressive and move much faster. The products you have are
    good and getting better. The problem is where you are selling, how you
    are selling, and some of your lens and accessory pricing is also out of
    kilter too when you compare across brands.
    I also think that actually, placing an A700 (or its successor) body only in
    Costco would also not be a bad idea to compete with the Nikon D300
    body that they are selling too!

    Reply
  15. guest_user wrote: June 10, 2008 11:56am

    Rick,

    When you get to Providence Place you may have to come visit me. :-) My shift
    takes place during your visit. I’m just a few stores down from Sony Style. I’m
    sure you’ll be able to guess which one. ;-)

    Reply
  16. guest_user wrote: June 13, 2008 12:12pm

    Thanks for the invitation Joe, I will try and take you up on it. No need to roll out
    the red carpet.

    Reply
  17. guest_user wrote: June 19, 2008 3:16pm

    Rick!

    I was at Providence Place around 2:45 and you were nowhere to be found. For
    shame! :-P

    Reply
  18. guest_user wrote: June 24, 2008 1:28pm

    Brandon-
    Rick is in transit to Tokyo so I I’d like to respond to your comment. We apologize
    for missing you in Providence. Rick and I did visit the Providence store last
    Thursday but arrived at 3:00pm instead of 2:30 due to an earlier traffic delay
    getting out of Boston. We would have loved to have seen you. Our apologies.
    Marcy Cohen

    Reply
  19. guest_user wrote: June 25, 2008 7:47pm

    Hey Rick, sorry that you aren’t coming to Kentucky. Just wanted to let you
    know that my husband believes in all electronic Sony products. We have 5
    sony tv’s, 4 sony dvd players, a sony under the cabinet radio, cd player, etc.
    He would rather pay a little extra and get a sony product that to save money
    with another brand. We have a console Sony TV that is 20 years old and is
    just now starting to go bad! But we will hang on to it as long as we can and
    the picture goes out completely and then guess we will go out and buy
    another Sony TV.. There is nothing better than a Sony.

    Reply
  20. guest_user wrote: June 12, 2009 12:53pm

    I’m sorry I missed your visit to the Valley Fair store in Santa Clara, CA last year. I would have liked to tell you how I’ve felt angry almost every time I have visited the store. For example,I went in a couple of months ago hoping to get a good look at the OLED tv – only to find that it was turned on but had nothing hooked up to display. The only thing I could view was the menu system. As I stood there struggling with the controls, the staff of the store clustered together in corners talking – no one offered to help. And I was in again a week ago – again hoping to see some of new XBR models in action – but the entire screening room (with perhaps 8 tvs) all displayed the title menu for Wall-E. Nothing was playing. The new slim screens were sitting idle too – with the Iron Man title menu. The staff were literally just standing around – none of them seemed to think it was important to put something on these screens to attract buyers. I think that Sony might have a bit too much hubris lately. I have an 46″ XBR3, Sony DVD, and a Sony AV receiver that I’m thinking about upgrading. But with this kind of brand representation I’ll be switching to another brand soon – I certainly can’t recommend anyone to visit a Sony Style store.

    Reply
  21. guest_user wrote: June 12, 2009 2:12pm

    I am sorry about your recent experience Mr. Ryce. We will certainly address your concerns with the store staff. We hope you will visit us again as we value your feedback as well as you as a Sony customer. Thank you for taking the time to post a comment.

    Jennifer Martin
    Blog Moderator
    SonyBlog@am.sony.com

    Reply
  22. guest_user wrote: June 14, 2009 1:22pm

    Unfortunately I must echo Mr. Ryce’s comments and those of the editors of the blog SonyInsider. I visited the San Francisco store (4th and Mission) early in the year and was disappointed by the experience. The staff were unable to properly configure the high-end television models; a low-end model appeared to outperform the high-end model beside it running the same source in spite of a significant difference in specs and price.
    However I recall happier days of Sony ownership. I remember the days when one could purchase schematics and parts for pretty much any Sony made (I own a D5-A and have used the schematics to adjust and keep it going over the years.) I recognize that I’m part of a very small minority but I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on how Sony can re-establish a dialogue with those of us who are interested in the technology and innovation that Sony pursues. (With tongue planted firmly in cheek,) may I suggest a companion site to SonyStyle – possibly called SonySubstance.
    I appreciate the fact that Sony is supporting your endeavors and hope it will lead better products and improved customer relationships and experiences.

    Reply
  23. guest_user wrote: June 16, 2009 12:50pm

    Hey DH,

    I’m one of the Sony Style Blog editors/moderators and read your comment. First off I appreciate the honesty. It helps us identify areas to work on as we continuously provide training to our teams.
    I am sorry you had this experience. We’re committed to offer everyone a premier service level when you walk in our stores and will be addressing this feedback directly.

    Along this topic, I’d like to invite you to check out our newly launched a Sony Style Blog (http://www.community.sonystyle.com). It’s designed to connect consumers with products plus invites our audience share questions, thoughts and experiences like these. Thank you for posting and we hope you visit our stores again soon.

    Reply

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