Toshiba Information Systems Division (ISD) and David Jones have partnered on a new instore strategy, the Toshiba Store.
Launched at the Sydney city David Jones store last week, the store-within-a-store retail environment will showcase examples of Toshiba’s product range, including notebooks, PDAs and personal storage products, being used in conjunction with wireless Internet access, printing and home networking.
Toshiba's marketing manager of emerging products, Matt Codrington, said the initiative was an extension of Toshiba’s current retail strategy. He said the current challenge vendors and resellers faced was in educating consumers about what evolving convergence technology could do for them.
“Customers need to be educated and that’s very hard to do in a brochure,” Codrington said. “It’s absolutely necessary for consumers to touch, feel and experience the products. They need to know they can now build their own environments.”
He said mass merchants, in particular, had the ability to showcase product very well and the retail environment would ensure consumers were making the right decision.
Codrington said the new strategy was initiated by David Jones, but Toshiba was more than happy to participate as it offered the chance to promote its dedicated consumer product suite.
Market figures also supported Toshiba’s approach, Codrington said, as notebooks sales were expected to eclipse PC sales this year. He said this was a clear indication that the convergence trend would not be revolving around the PC. “Customers who purchased a desktop a few years back are now looking at notebooks as their replacement,” he said. “The gap between notebook and PC performance has shrunk and now they’re rivalling PCs for power in many bench tests.”
Codrington said the David Jones and Toshiba collaboration would expand, but had no further details on where and when.
Toshiba would look to refine the stores over time and to expand at least to state-based coverage, he said.
The new strategy would not draw sales away from Toshiba’s IT reseller base which, he said, would still be in a position to provide a full value-added service.