Pioneer to Open Retail Stores in U.S.

Apple once again may have set another trend with retail stores that sell directly to consumers. Sony and Dell have both jumped into the foray and now Pioneer is giving it a shot and will be opening the company’s first store this August in Costa Mesa CA.

The new Pioneer stores will allow customers to select, design and install a system all in one fell-swoop. You can expect to see regular Pioneer and Pioneer Elite products at their stores, but in addition, Pioneer will be testing some of their Japanese products by making certain foreign lines available to U.S consumers. The hope here is that people will give them feedback on whether the foreign line would be a hit with the U.S. market. If the products are popular then Pioneer will make them available for sale through their merchant partners and Pioneer retail stores.

One example of a product Pioneer will be testing in their new stores include Pure Malt Speakers that are actually made from recycled whiskey barrels. Other unique products include home entertainment furniture with built-in speakers, various colored plasma frames that match different decors and small items like speakers for use in the shower or bathtub.

“Product technology is evolving so quickly and commoditization of product happens faster than ever,” said Craig McManis, vice president, Pioneer Stores (USA) Inc. “A company store allows us greater access to consumers for product testing and planning and supports Pioneer’s plan to provide premium value added products to consumers who are entertainment connoisseurs.”

The 3200 square-foot Costa Mesa store will open in the South Cost Plaza mall sometime in August.