PC World will roll out its Connected Home service to seven stores between now and Christmas as it looks to capitalise on consumers’ insatiable appetite for high-end, bowel-looseningly loud home media systems.
The “Digital Lifestyle” stores-within-stores are staffed by elite sales people who have to undergo a five week full time training course before being let loose to push systems which cost between £7,000 and £25,000. The digital home packages include consulting, home installation, and a two year service plan, with six monthly home visits to check up on systems.
PC World has nailed its colours firmly to Microsoft’s mast, centring the offering on Microsoft’s Media Center.
PC World managing director Keith Jones said Media Center already accounted for 70 per cent of its PC sales. The connected home offering is branded “in association with Microsoft”, and Jones said the retailer had worked closely with the software giant on how to position and present the service. Jones insisted this did not preclude customers speccing out other platforms.
Jones said the firm already had Connected Home centres in four of its stores, with its latest site at its Tottenham Court road store. Three more will open in coming months. He said the initiative was being launched out of PCWorld rather than DSG’s traditional audio visual stores as it was centred around the PC.
While the systems Dixons is pushing will cost up to £25,000 (and we’re sure it can always bump this up with a few extras) Jones was confident customers will shell out.
He said the firm was considering a leasing or rental approach for these kinds of systems, but added that so far, punters seem quite happy to shell out five figure sums up front.®