Sony to Close 20 Retail Stores in the U.S.

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maxime29

I have visited one of the stores on that list of 20 they are closing. The particular store is next to the Apple store. Take a guess at how many people walk past Sony to go into Apple...

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UtilityMax

I have visited a Sony store in San Marcos TX a few times years ago. Every other product on sale is refurbished. There is hardly anything to see.

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Shalbatana

If they want to really turn a profit they need to stop doing decent products with stupid quirks that ruin them. Proprietary, overpriced flash storage for the Vita is just one example. They can be such a good company that makes good products, but somewhere along the line someone in their concept and design department has entirely the wrong idea.

I want to like Sony, I really do.

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vrmlbasic

Their ridiculous "proprietary" SD card knockoff has deterred me from getting so many Sony products.

In gaming, Sony has shot themselves in the foot by making its hardware less capable as time goes on, eg:removing PS2 compatibility from PS3, switching from OLED to IPS for the PS Vita. The backwards compatibility was one of the key reasons that the PS2 was successful and they didn't quite understand that with the PS3: it wasn't PS1 compatibility that made the PS2 successful, per se, it was that it could play every game on all prior PlayStation console(s).

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jimsellsmoore

This is too bad. The Sony Store employees were so informative. Sony stands for quality in everything they do. I have had about 20 different Sony products over the same amount of years and I have never had one problem with any of their products. I love both my Sony HDTV and my Sony Vaio. The problem with Sony is they did not have the right advertising campaign. They let inferior companies like Apple and Samsung take them out of the competition. Now they are trying to rely solely on cell phones and tablets that are unbelievably expensive to bring their company back to being profitable. They are nice units but are now trying to over price the outrageously overpriced Samsung and Apple units. Too little too late.

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TheITGuy

Didn't even know Sony had retail stores

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hornfire3

I've been to one of them, at my local city mall.

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yammerpickle2

Sony has been going down hill for a very long time. Twenty plus years ago they commanded a price premium, but at least the quality was there. The quality and service for Sony has been missing for a very long time, yet they still try and demand a price premium. Customers have moved to less expensive quality alternatives.

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Baer

Remember the rootkit error they made? I think that started them downhill.

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vrmlbasic

I remember the Rootkit fiasco. I also remember the PS3 fiasco and how Sony went after that "geohot" guy with a vengeance.

I'm constantly reminded how much of a PITA blu-ray is.

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MaximumMike

That rootkit error was enough to keep me from ever buying another Sony product. My faith in them is completely destroyed, and at one time I thought they were the only name in electronics.

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The Mac

ditto.

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Scatter

Practically every boutique store that I've ever seen has sold their products for more than they can be had elsewhere. So why shop at them?

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MrHasselblad

Sony computers will not be around much longer. Sony non consumer cameras will remain, barely. Consumer cameras will be sold off soon, even the dslr's, other full framers, and even lenses.

Not much will remain of Sony relatively soon. One of the few items remaining will be their video game consoles.

Sony has been like this for many, many months. As has Pentax and even Olympus

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John Pombrio

Heh, the imaging division at SONY made a profit last quarter, more than the games division on a profit/revenue ratio. I am not sure of the amount of that division is for consumer cameras and how much for commercial stuff. Again, that profit was solely due to the favorable exchange rate.

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John Pombrio

One thing that most gaming sites are ignoring is how fragile SONYs financials are. Their stock was finally rated as junk by the last major ratings companies to do so, Moody's. SONY barely made a profit last quarter and that was entirely due to the 26% extra profit SONY made because of the weakened Yen. SONY is selling the PC division and spinning off their TV division. SONY will be have a loss of over a billion US dollars this fiscal year, along with the $6 billion lost in the past few years. They have decided to keep the mobile phone division even though that is on track for a loss of half a billion dollars this fiscal year. SONY semiconductor division is going to lose a billion dollars this fiscal year. Pictures, Music, and Financials are the most profitable. The financial division, SONY Bank (yes, they have a bank!)-Auto, Home, and Life insurance is what is keeping SONY from going under.

As for the games division? Here is the financials from last quarter 2013-12-31. Both SONY and MS games divisions are about 15% of the company's total revenue. Last quarter, SONY's game division made $4.2 billion, with profit of $175 million. MS games division had $4.7 billion and a profit of $411 million. SONY executives attributes the profits of the game division entirely to the weakened Yen, adding 26% to the profits of the division. SONY was smart to leave Japan as the last place to launch as it is the one place that will have the least amount of profit. That weak Yen is also going to cost SONY as they have to pay China about 30% more for making the consoles.

Now about that Yen. In 2006, Japan had a surplus of $600 billion dollars a year. Since then the government worked to weaken the yen to help exports. Japan printed a huge amount of Yens and brought the value to 26% lower than what it was compared to the dollar. How did that work out? Not so good. Japan now has a DEFICIT of $300 billion dollars a year due to the increase in the cost of imports. So that weak Yen was good for SONY and BAD for Japan. In the meantime, the Japanese are ashamed of SONY for failing so badly and laying off so many people. They once were giants in their country, now they are turning into a ghost in Japan.

So what is in store for SONY and the PS4? They will not suddenly disappear or sell their games division. What you can expect is a lot of thrashing about as it tries to make the company profitable once more. Money will be tight so less investments in supporting game companies, less fleshing out of cloud infrastructure, and less innovations or improvements of the PS4.

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LatiosXT

Maybe we should note that Sony is a giant conglomerate that has more industries than you can shake. Are they in troubled waters? Sure. But with a list like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_Corporation_shareholders_and_subsidiaries

I don't think they're going to go anywhere any time soon.

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John Pombrio

Agreed. SONY has the revenue of Microsoft so it is not a small company so it is not just going to fold up. Rather than a wiki, use this to see what SONY is and how each of the divisions are made up and doing financially:
http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/IR/financial/fr/13q3_sony.pdf

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The Mac

Nice analysis John.

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azuza001

Very well said indeed. This comment could be an article on the site all on it's own.

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Innomasta

Well said John

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MaximumMike

How about not attacking, insulting, and pissing off all your customers. That might go a long way towards your restructuring project.

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wolfing

are there Sony stores? never seen one