Sony to Close Online Stores

By Sam Gopal | 12 Aug 2015

Consumer electronics company Sony is dismantling its direct sales and e-commerce operations at the end of August to refocus on its dealer base.

Japanese electronics maker Sony has announced it is closing its US online store this month.

Customers who regularly purchase smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, TVs, cameras and home theatre equipment from the US site have until August 28th to make their purchases before the store winds up.

The announcement was made in an email sent to all Sony store customers, but it did not provide a clear reason as to why the company was closing down its online store. It did however state that it will “soon unveil a new online product showcase and more ways to shop”.

Despite the positive reviews for Sony’s Xperia devices, the company has failed to reach a wider audience in the US compared to Apple and Samsung‘s markets, which could be due in part to Sony’s preference to sell direct to consumers instead of going through wireless carriers as middlemen, which is the dominant smartphone sales model in the country.

While revenue for its other businesses have taken an upward turn, its mobile sales strategy is not working very well, as per its latest quarterly earnings. Its mobile business consisting of smartphones and tablets has taken a revenue dip by 16.3 percent to 270.5 billion yen, or around US$2.27 billion.

Lack of brand awareness surrounding many of Sony’s products is also failing to help Sony thrive in the industry. While rivals in the market concur that Sony make excellent camera sensors, used everywhere from Apple’s iPhones to Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones, most people are unaware they are shooting selfies and food pics using a camera made by Sony.

Sony says it will be refocusing its efforts on a select range of devices that it deems profitable, while making deep cuts in manpower and asset sales to compensate for the loss of finances caused by its smartphone business.

There is speculation moving forward that Sony could launch new product lines using drone technology, as well as a crowdfunding platform to jumpstart businesses.

A statement was released from Sony Australia & New Zealand regarding the US announcement:

“The Australian and New Zealand Sony eCommerce websites sony.com.au and sony.co.nz are unaffected by the recent announcement made on the US website store.sony.com. 

“We know that Australian and New Zealand consumers love to research and shop online and we will continue to offer access to the breadth of the Sony product range through our online channel. 

“Consumers also love to engage with our products in store, so we will continue to work closely with our retail partners to deliver this experience.” 

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