A Pioneering Store

Following the likes of Bang & Olufsen and Sony, Pioneer will open a retail store in the United States this August. The 32,000-square-foot company store, to be located at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California, will offer Pioneer and Pioneer Elite components traditionally sold in the U.S. in addition to products currently available only in Japan. Pioneer intends for the store to be a testing ground for these and other new products. The company expects the retail outlet to provide it with consumer feedback that will "impact and enhance future product development."

Consumer response to and sales of the Japan-only products will be used to assist Pioneer's U.S. retailers develop strategies for introducing products like these in their markets. Some of the Pioneer-store exclusive offerings will include the Pure Malt Speakers made from recycled whiskey barrels. (Which sounds better - a Kentucky Bourbon barrel or an Irish Whiskey barrel?) Other Pioneer items to be featured are home entertainment furniture with built-in speakers, colored plasma TV frames, and speakers for use in the shower or bathtub.

System packages put together by Pioneer's corporate staff will be displayed in individual vignettes placed in appropriately sized rooms. Store employees will have direct access to Pioneer product planners and engineers. (So if one of them tells you, "My grandmother owns one of these" as a testimonial close, you know it's coming straight from the top.)