Sony silently opens retail stores

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Since opening its first Sony Style store last year, the Japanese giant has quietly opened seven stores to the present day. Now this month it plans to add two more U.S. stores in Denver and Las Vegas, and expects to have about 30 opened by April 2006. The original article at CNN focuses on smaller retailers' concern that if the stores turn successful, they could lose sales, or even worse, other manufacturers would be motivated to open stores as well.

Apple Computer Inc. has opened 84 stores nationwide since 2001. Dell Inc. has its own kiosks, but neither depends much on other retailers to sell product -- at least not to the extent that Sony, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. or Samsung Electronics America Inc. do.

On its present form however, Sony's move doesn't seem to be as bold, it would take much more effort and money to get them going in the bigger retail market. Just like in Apple's stores, Sony is buying the chance of showing off its newer products and teach the consumer as they try to establish as a lifestyle brand.

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