retail watch

Panasonic Joins the Retail Fray, Opening Its First North American Store

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 22, 2013 06:02 PM

Apple has them. Verizon does, too. And T-Mobile, Sony, and Garmin have all made the move as well.

Now add Panasonic to the mix of a brand that’s opened its own store in North America.

The 300-square-foot Panasonic Experience Store has opened in Edgewater, New Jersey, which sits west from Manhattan.  The store may be small, but it serves a key purpose for the electronics giant. It will be staffed by product managers so they can get a firsthand understanding of what consumers are seeking when they come to buy a product, NorthJersey.com reports.

Currently, there are about four dozen Panasonic products on store shelves.

The idea is not a new one to Panasonic, which has stores in the United Kingdom, India and Hong Kong, among other places. However, this is the first one in North America, a key market.

"It really is a laboratory for us to interact with consumers," said Vic Carlson, vice president of marketing for Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company of North America.

The store is tucked into a Japanese supermarket and retail mall, but its location may have more to do with the fact that it’s less than 10 miles from the brand’s North American headquarters in Secaucus than anything else.

It remains to be seen if this little place is solely for research purposes or if it will lead to an onslaught of Panasonic Stores across America, a tactic that has had much success for Apple since it launched its first store with much fanfare back in 2001. 

"Everybody looks at Apple," Alan Wolf, senior editor of TWICE magazine, a trade publication covering the consumer electronics industry, told NorthJersey.com. "That's the prime example of somebody that's done it right and has done well with it."

Panasonic plans to see how sales go in Edgewater before deciding on whether it wants to create more North American branded stores.

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