AfterDawn: Tech news

Sony sells exclusive LCD televisions at Target

Written by Dave Horvath @ 18 Aug 2007 12:16 User comments (14)

Sony sells exclusive LCD televisions at Target Although not available in stores until mid-September, has begun showcasing two Sony Bravia LCD televisions that will be an exclusive to the Target stores. The 26-inch and 32-inch Bravia screens will not be available through any other retailer.
Priced at a moderate $799 and $899 respectively, the LCD screens feature up to 720p Resolution and are significantly cheaper than any other Sony LCD television on the market. According to a Sony representative, there will be additional models unveiled exclusively to Target's competitor Wal-Mart in the following month.

The announcement for Target to hold the exclusive rights for these two panels was announced back in June, however it is now officially a reality. Randy Waynick, senior vice president of marketing stated that Sony would supply a unique series of models to Target, Wal-mart and other big retailers in order to tailor its offerings to specific demographics. At that time, Waynick had stated that the televisions would have rolled out within 60 days, however it seems they took a little longer than expected to get the ball rolling.


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14 user comments

118.8.2007 12:22

to tailor its offerings to specific demographics
Sounds like a PC way of saying people who can't afford to shop at high end AV stores.

Target and Wal Mart are everywhere. What demographic does not apply to this?

This is just a gimmick to get their name out there even more.

218.8.2007 13:31

Man, Sony can take their "exclusives" and shove it.

Is this their idea of good marketing? Limiting the availability of products to the extent of keeping them high priced? Sounds just like MGS4 the "exclusive" PS3 title we will be so amazed by that we'll just have to start throwing money to Sony for their blu-ray PS3 !!

Meh, new marketing tactics plz

318.8.2007 15:56

Great deal especially for the 32 in model.

418.8.2007 19:58

This is a horrible deal. $799 and $899 for 26 inch 720p? Kmon. I guess you are paying for the name.

518.8.2007 22:28

Totally... I mean, how dare they offer products of lesser quality to shoppers with less money.

Look Sony has a lot of people that buy their TVs in the high end. Sony is actually one of the highest priced LCD makers out there. Most of that is brand name. Yes you net nerds (me included) may think Sony charges too much for a tv. Let's however, consider Joe Smith off the street that is not ultra techy. He wants an LCD but doesn't know much about LCDs or High Def. By buying a Sony he knows through the brand he is getting a certain level of product by looking at past Sony products. That is why Sony can price higher.

What is happening here is Sony noticed a trend during the increase of LCD prices. Those are on the lower end are buying much lower end TVs due to the large pricing difference between a Sony and a, lets say, Westinghouse. Sony figures if they can manufacture some tvs with a few cheaper components to maintain a certain level of quality (to not damage the brand name) yet still make moderate profits then they should enter the lower end LCD market.

Obviously they've found a way to do this with these tvs. Given the price will fluctuate as Sony gets comfortable. One thing that slightly confuses me is they identify Walmart and Target as different demographics. I would say they are close. I shopped at Walmarts in college but rarely go there now because I make enough money to not deal with their excellent customer service and the one legged pirate ladies that run into you with their carts. Then again, I'm not who is targeted by this campaign, people that shop at Walmart that are looking at Westinghouse are.

They see the low end TV, then the Sony for a few bucks more. If they get the price right they could substantially increase their overall market share. Very few of the high end LCD makers do this.

618.8.2007 22:35

Yeah well i thought they were selling the 32in for 899 if so, then that's a good price for a sony at least.

719.8.2007 12:16

This will be good for Sony as far as brand recognition goes, but I almost feel that this is a slap in the face to the higher end consumer who has been loyal to Sony throughout the years.

They want to offer a discount to the consumer who may or may not have looked at Sony or have been able to afford Sony in the past.

What about those of us who have been there since the days of BetaMax?

819.8.2007 20:21

What a slap in the face to all the loyal customers who are "high end" enough to not have to shop where the children run around knocking stuff over and people play bumper carts the whole time. Not to mention how you hear about the treatment towards the employees.

920.8.2007 0:19

I don't see it as a slap in the face to the 'higher end' customer at all. If a higher end customer WANTS a 32in 720p LCD from Sony for the above mentioned price then they are free to enter these stores like their 'lower end' customer conterparts and buy the exact same thing for the exact same price.

I think the thing is MOST hihger end customers DO NOT WANT a 720p LCD REGARDLESS of where it is sold at.

What Sony is doing is making a product for these lower end consumers and placing it in some of the biggest stores that these consumers shop at.

To say it's a slap in the face because they do this is to say that the high end stores are a slap in the face because they only offer high-end expensive products instead of offering low end cheap ones as well. The reason they don't is because they wouldn't sell due to what their customer is there looking for.

A perfect example of this is you won't see Wal Mart Brand jeans in a Rodeo Drive store and you won't see Gucci at a Wal Mart. Why? Two reasons: The price point and the customer. Stores purchase their inventory based upon these two things. Manufactures who want to make money make products based upon these two things as well.

1020.8.2007 11:54

I see your point duckNrun.

1120.8.2007 17:08

and people play bumper carts the whole time
What else is there to do at 3 or 4 in the morning when I get off of work but go to Wal Mart and ride the bikes in the aisles and play football in the toy department?
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 Aug 2007 @ 17:31

1220.8.2007 17:29


I don't feel that what they said was a slap in the face to the high end consumer as opposed to the low end consumer, but they should offer a discount across the board.

High end consumers are likely to spend more money and do more research on their equipment. Sony is not the best in all areas. I feel that the high end consumer would thoroughly weigh all buying options and make a decision based on quality and reliability, not just price.

However, sometimes concessions are made when a price is something that is lower than what you expect. This is probably the angle that they are playing in this situation.

From the structure of their words, it almost sounds as if they are being condescending towards the Wal Mart and Target shoppers. Just because I can afford to buy real Prada or Dolce & Gabbana purses for my wife, or spend $250 on a pair of jeans for myself doesn't mean that I don't shop at Wal Mart or Target as well. Every consumer no matter what their income level is has a certain price that they will not pay for a given product.

I feel the only difference in a "low budget" consumer as opposed to a "high budget" consumer is the amount of research that they put into a purchase. People who have $400 to spend on a TV go into a store and pick the best looking TV that is under $400. People who have $5000 to spend will damn sure do their research before plunking down that kind of cash.

To place a low price product in a low price store is good business. To word it so arrogantly is not. Maybe I'm reading too much into the text, but their wording just rubs me the wrong way.

1320.8.2007 23:42

I think (and I am not a soony fan by any means) all Sony is doing is trying to Supply a product that can be offered to this same group of consumers at the price point that will equate to the Demand that these consumers have.

As such they are marketing towards a certain demographic of A/V consumers not neccessarily a certain demographic of race, gender, or income level.

I shop at Wal Mart a lot. For some items I shop elsewhere. IF Wal Mart and Target would be willing to stock high end A/V equipment alongside their lower end items, and inform the general public they were carrying them perhaps this demographic for A/V equipment would change. I see plenty of high end vehicles parked alongside POS cars in the parking lot all the time out there. I think from the stores perspective though they find less incentive to do so because at the moment they think that if they were to place a $3000 receiver or TV on their displays that the amount that sold would not be worth it in terms of inventory turn over and profit margin. These places perceive that they can make more money (due to inventory turn over)selling a $1200 Polaroid 1080P 47" LCD in that space than a %3000 47" 1080p LCD.

I just don't think of this as Sony offering a discount to these 'demographics' as much as offering a lower end product, most likely containing lower end parts.

A perfect example of this is my recent research into upgrading my receiver. I wanted one capable of HDMI switching which placed me in a certain bottom price range. Having more HDMI inputs placed me yet again into a higher priced item. LOTS of receivers that do 1080p unconverting can be found for 'cheap' but I want a receiver that used the Faruja (Sp) DCDi chip due to my perceived quality of the chip. For this quality and functionality it placed me in a certain bottom end price range.

I don't blame these A/V companies for not offering me these choices at a discount simply becuase they have other items of less quality (and less functionablity) offered more cheaply. I blame myself for not wanting to settle for less. If Wal Mart was offering what I wanted at a cheaper (or even a similiar) price I would place it in my cart alongside my toilet paper and other items.

I can see where the phrase 'specific demographics' can be perceived as a slap against those who shop at these stores but it is an accurate term, at least as far as marketing certain products is concerned... at least until these stores begin to cater to the consumer who IS willing to spend the money required to purchase these high end items. To do so though may require more knowledgable staff than they are willing to pay for and more high tech displays than simply placing an item on a shelf.

Once the type of people who are shopping for, and buying, the flagship items begin to shop for, and buy, them at Wal Mart then the A/V demographic of these shoppers will change.

--ok no more long posts from me on this lol


1421.8.2007 22:23

At least its below a grand in price.

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