Electronista: Sony this week outlined a plan to fight back against Apple by opening its own flagship retail stores.
Starting with Sony Store Nagoya, the stores will imitate the multi-floor design of Apple flagships like Ginza and use large, spacious display areas divided by category.
The first floor of the Nagoya store will focus on portable devices like Cyber-shot and Handycam cameras, the PSP, Sony-Ericsson phones, Walkman players and VAIO PCs; a second floor will focus on home theater equipment such as Blu-ray players and TVs.
Staffing will also echo Apple’s and will include “Stylists” who, like Apple’s Specialists, will provide help on choosing devices in addition to actually handling purchases. They will be unique in that they’ll provide customer feedback to Sony itself, the company says.
While Sony already provides service at some of its stores, staffers on the second floor will take on more of an Apple Genius-like role and teach customers to use what they own. The Nagoya location will open on March 13th and should be accompanied by others in the future, though it’s not known if this will involve international locations. Existing Sony Style and Sony Store locations aren’t expected to close in at least the short term.