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Wal-Mart sets sights on high-end AV

April 10th, 2006 · No Comments

Wal-Mart trucks

Wal-Mart might be the global definition for pile it high and sell it cheap, but that hasn’t stopped the US brand from laying claim to a slice of the high-end AV market place. At an experimental 203,000-square-foot  supercentre in the Dallas suburb of Plano, the retailer has created an innovative retail environment to service buyers looking for high-end products, including AV gear, clothes and food.
Visitors are invited to enter a lush world of stripped pine and designer décor. A wi-fi coffee bar allows consumers to ponder their potential purchases, perhaps while they snack on sushi or Paninis. Flatpanel is the hottest consumer electronics item, with large screens from the likes of Panasonic and Hitachi, but you can even find giant new Sony SRXD microdisplay projection TVs on display.  And if you have a question, then specially trained ‘black-shirt’ salesmen can answer any kind of techy query with confidence.  The concept echoes some of the huge new retail outlets in Japan, but nothing comes close in Blighty. Perhaps specialist (and not so specialist) outlets should sit up and take note. If the concept takes off,  Asda, a subsidiary of Wal-Mart, may soon be rolling out something very similar. Suddenly, Currys.digital sounds very passé indeed.

Tags: LCD TV · Plasma · Trade

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