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Sony Looks to Increase Sales through Discount Retailers
Sep 3, 2004
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Japan's Sony Corp. is reportedly in talks to sell more of its electronics lines in North America through discount retailers such as Wal-Mart, to boost sales and fend off competition from its South Korean and Chinese rivals.

Sony is presently in talks with Wal-Mart and Costco to expand its relationship with them and have more of its audio-video products on store shelves in time for the upcoming holiday season.

Wal-Mart is the world's largest retail group, while Costco is the largest operator of membership-based warehouses.

"We already sell a small number of products through these retailers, but we'd like to be more aggressive in our dealings with them," said a Sony spokesman.

Wal-Mart is known for its aggressive discounts and sells televisions, DVD players, and audio and video equipment by manufacturers such as Taiwan's Tatung co. Ltd., Europe's Philips, and Japan's Matsushita Electrical Industrial Co. Ltd. Sony currently accounts for only 1.5 percent of consumer electronics sales at Wal-Mart.

Sony, which is lagging behind rival Matsushita, is halfway through a 3-year restructuring plan aimed at improving profitability. Until now, most of is marketing is based on high-end products through electronics specialty chains such as Best Buy and Circuit City stores, and is now aiming to increase its sales through more general retailers.

The U.S. market contributed 26 percent of Sony's overall electronics sales in the business year that ended in March.

Source: Reuters

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