Audio technology giant Sonos has offered the first glimpse into its new flagship retail store, which is scheduled to open in New York City next week.
The 4,200-square-foot space features seven listening rooms, each designed to replicate a likely home setup. “The intention is to allow the music to do the talking, making it easy for everyone to experience Sonos exactly as they would at home, even though they are in the retail environment,” said Giles Martin, sound experience leader at Sonos.
It’s a smart approach by a brand that has emerged at the forefront of the audio technology realm. The company has raised more than $300 million in funding since its inception in 2002, but earlier this year it announced an undisclosed number of layoffs as part of an effort to refocus on two key areas: music-streaming services and voice control. John MacFarlane said at the time that the company would be:
…doubling down on our long-held conviction that streaming music is the dominant form of consumption now and in the future. We believe that listeners will grow increasingly dissatisfied with the solutions they’ve cobbled together for listening at home.
It seems that Sonos’ new flagship store fits into that new plan pretty well. It can be difficult to know what setup works without trying different speakers out for size and effect, so by providing what it calls a “personalized listening experience and superior service offerings,” the company is making it possible for amateurs and audiophiles alike to go hands-on with the full range of wireless speakers and related smarts.
While each of the Listening Rooms was “custom-built with four layers of acoustic Sheetrock and a 2,000-lb, steel-framed glass door,” Sonos has gone all-in on the decor too, with promises of handwoven rugs, shelves filled with books, custom furniture, original artwork, and more.
The new Sonos store deviates from Apple’s outlets in terms of look and feel, but the underlying principle remains the same: to make it easier for consumers to check out expensive equipment first-hand before committing their hard-earned dough to the cause.
Samsung adopted a similar approach earlier this year with the New York launch of Samsung 837, a new “digital playground” to showcase Samsung products. Dyson also recently opened a store in London — only its second permanent outlet in the world — to let shoppers check out its myriad products in person.
The new Sonos store is located at 101 Greene Street in SoHo, and it will officially open its doors on July 19 at 12 p.m. (Local).