Retail reality tales

The change not only includes the introduction of a new retail format called Pro Shop but also upgrading, renaming and expanding existing formats. While Sony India sells directly to retailers located in the four metropolises and Bangalore, 20 distributors supply to multi-brand outlets located outside these five cities.

“Today shoppers look out for some unique shopping experience. Further, as the products attain more technical sophistication, it is more of technology selling that happens at the retail end than selling brands,“ says Sony India manager (channel strategy) Ravi Katial.

Pro Shop will retail exclusive lifestyle products like home theatre and car audios, spread across the nation. Katial says the change in customer behaviour over a period of time has necessitated this sectoral focus.

Pro Shop will join Sony India's retail structure that consists of multi-brand outlets, Sony Exclusive (exclusive dealers selling only colour television [CTV] and audio models) and Sony World, the mega store showcasing the company's entire product range.

“Pro Shop is just one part of our market expansion strategy,“ adds Katial. The other parts consist of upgrading the existing Sony Exclusive outlets and renaming them as Sony Zone, expanding the Sony World outlets and the web initiative.

Spreading wings
Sony Zone, modelled along the lines of Sony World, will be small in size and located in upcountry markets. The company plans to increase such outlets to 500 from the existing 29. While it is a big leap with regards to the Sony Zone format, the company is also on its way to increase its franchisee-owned mega concept format, Sony World.