Inside Sony’s Bondi Junction kiosk: a blueprint for direct selling?

By Claire Reilly

Sony has announced it will close its Sydney Sony Centre concept stores in World Square and Drummoyne, and replace them with a number of smaller format in-mall kiosks over the coming months. While the first of these kiosks opened in the Sydney suburb of Chatswood following the closure of the Sony Centre there 15 months ago, Sony has also been selling through a kiosk in Sydney’s east at Westfield Bondi Junction.

Located on the topmost level of the Westfield mall next to a Harvey Norman shopfront, the ‘Vaio by Harvey Norman’ kiosk is managed both by Sony and Harvey Norman, and features both brand logos on display.

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According to a staff member at the kiosk, the stock is provided by Sony but consumers have access to the deals offered by Harvey Norman, as they would at a larger Harveys store. The kiosk has been operational for approximately three years, and is staffed both by Harvey Norman salespeople and specialist Sony staff.

The product displays are dedicated exclusively to Vaio computer products and accessories, and there are demonstration products to test throughout the kiosk.

Sony has stayed quiet on exactly what its new kiosks will offer in terms of product range, but the Sony centres in Drummoyne and World Square have previously sold a wide array of products, including digital imaging and home theatre products as well as larger footprint products such as Bravia TVs. The company’s Sony Centre website also boasts that “some Sony products are only available in our stores”.

While the Sony/Harvey Norman joint offering in Bondi Junction is limited in both its size and selection, it does show retailers what they may be able to expect when Sony begins rolling out the kiosk format in earnest. With Sony promising to sell direct to consumers through these shopfronts, it remains to be seen whether retailer/supplier co-branded kiosks such as the one in Bondi Junction will remain open.

The 'Vaio by Harvey Norman' kiosk on the top floor of Westfield Bondi Junction in Sydney.

The Sony kiosk is located in the centre of a busy walkway, just metres from a Harvey Norman shopfront.

The kiosk features Vaio products on display for consumers to test out.

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