The Source, an electronics retailer purchased by Bell in 2009, is one of Canada's largest retailers with over 650 locations nationwide – 70-percent of Canadians live within 5 kilometers of a store. Though owned by Bell, they carry a wide variety of brand name electronic goods for not only communications, but home entertainment, home office and other products relating to sound. Today they announced the opening of a newly designed store located at Toronto's Yorkdale Mall. Like a Best Buy with its 'store-within-a-store' approach, customers will be able to experience a "hands-on, tech-centric shopping experience." This is part of The Source's attempt to reinvent themselves and the Yorkdale Mall store is the prototype for future locations.
Charles Brown, The Source President said, "It's all about the shopping experience. Our customers told us that they want to be able to see, try and test products, and this new format gives them the opportunity for hands-on discovery combined with the personal service and carefully curated selection of brands we're known for. We have created a warm and comfortable environment that sets the stage to demystify technology and provides the ultimate consumer electronics retail experience." This revamped experience starts at the storefront with a digital display in the front window with dynamic content highlighting the latest hot products that will entice people to come into the store. Mr. Brown claims, "It's our goal to make both new and existing The Source customers take notice and draw them into the experience. We're continuing to grow and evolve as we undergo our brand transformation, and this new store location demonstrates the direction in which we are moving."
The design by Toronto-based retail design agency Shikatani Lacroix, does look inviting with its warm wood tones and neutral white surfaces to conduct the interaction of the sales clerks and customers. It makes the product standout and encourages customer interaction. Products are grouped by categories – imagine that – and displayed in a way that makes interaction possible and presents an easier shopping experience. For example, all of the headphones are grouped together on a wall and allow the customer to try multiple products on the spot for an easy comparison.
With more and more customers opting to purchase online and never leaving their home, it is important for shops, such as The Source, to find ways to get customers into the store or they may find themselves going the way of Future Shops. Best Buy is their biggest competitor so it is imperative that The Source start modernizing its stores to attract more business and entice buyers away from Best Buy as well as online sellers such as eBay or Amazon.