Sony launching three redesigned stores

Tired of hanging out at the Apple store all the time? Maybe Sony's new retail facade is for you.

Inside the latest Sony Store, at Century City in LA.
Sony Electronics

Three remodeled Sony Stores are popping up soon, in California, New York, and Texas.

Consumers can check out the transformed Sony retail experience on December 3 at the South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif., the Houston Galleria in Texas, and the Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, N.Y.

When Sony quietly dropped the name SonyStyle this year, it was merely the beginning of a major shift in retail strategy for the consumer-electronics giant. Things shifted even further when Sony shut down more than a dozen of its retail stores in the U.S. amid a painful fiscal year. There was hope within the company that a new Sony store design would reinvigorate the consumer experience, which has fallen to the wayside as rival Apple continues to build a juggernaut retail phenomenon.

Sony opened its first redesigned store in Nagoya, Japan, in March of last year. Then in April, a similar looking store opened in the Century City area of Los Angeles, sporting a fancy design sans the SonyStyle name.

"The newly redesigned Sony Stores are unique destinations where customers can experience all things Sony. Our goal is always to exceed customer expectations by providing an exciting, interactive, and entertaining shopping experience," Brian Sheehan, senior vice president of Sony Stores, said in a press release.

The three redesigned stores will look similar to the Century City location. Sony Electronics

The new layout is a departure from the seemingly disorganized theme of the SonyStyle stores of yesteryear. Instead of a mazelike homely environment, the current design has a much more minimalistic feel, clear paths, themed sections for product lines, and swanky swatches of color among impressive design elements. The front of the store consists mostly of a large retractable window, which is free of advertisements.

Will the new Sony retail experience be enough to capture consumer attention? It's hard to tell if the new approach will pay off, but clearly the goal is to attract more people and create more hands-on experiences like in an Apple store. This may be Sony's best (and perhaps last) shot at achieving that.