Sony Wi-Fi-less PSP Aimed at Younger Demographic

Sony’s rather strange announcement a few weeks ago about a new addition to the PSP line without Wi-Fi access baffled some people, especially considering how light current software is. However, there is a method to this corporate PSP-1000 madness: kids.

With a lower price point, Sony Europe is trying to usher in a new demographic into the PSP fold, namely teenagers and younger. “If we are going to take PSP very young — teens and much younger — they are happy to just play the game,” Sony Computer Entertainment of Europe head Jim Ryan states. “If taking Wi-Fi out is the price to pay, we’re happy to.”

He goes on to claim the potential sales boost during the holidays. It’s an interesting means of sales, but kids always want what’s hot and what’s marketable. The PSP has long since been past its prime in that regard, and the Vita is months away. Plus, a kid with a PSP? Ouch. The DS with its folding screen can take some punishment. The PSP? Not so much.

Sears’ new pricing set for March 1

Chicago Sun-Times February 24, 1989 | Lisa Holton Sears, Roebuck and Co. on Thursday unveiled its long-awaited pricing strategy, a move that will cut prices on 75 percent of its goods beginning March 1 and force the retailer to prepare for the change by temporarily closing 800-plus stores.

Separately, the chairman of the Sears Merchandise Group said he hopes to reveal the group’s plan to move out of the Sears Tower before the end of the year.

The program, called “Everyday Low Pricing,” originally was announced last October, at the time Sears detailed a restructuring plan aimed at warding off takeover speculation.

Sears Merchandise Group Chairman Michael Bozic on Thursday introduced to reporters a “multimillion-dollar” ad blitz that began with letters to credit-card holders this week and will extend to heavy TV and print advertising for most of March.

And starting at 6 p.m. Monday, Sears will close most of its general-line stores, including those in Chicago, until noon Wednesday to re-tag merchandise and put up new signs. in our site sears coupon code

The program will target some 50,000 separate items sold by the retailer for markdowns. A Sears spokeswoman offered the examples of traditional Sears items affected by the program: a Sears Die-Hard battery, for example, would drop from $74.99 to $59.97 and a Kenmore washer from $419.99 to $347.

During a Thursday press conference to show the retailer’s advertising campaign, Bozic called Sears’ move “a marketing revolution,” but Sears in fact is a latecomer responding to what its closest retailing competitors have done in recent years.

Wal-Mart, the nation’s No. 3 retailer, has grown considerably the last decade under everyday low pricing, and Chicago-based Montgomery Ward is in the midst of its own everyday pricing media blitz.

Bozic said such efforts as the aggressive Ward’s advertising campaign, as well as the efforts of other major retailers to move toward more aggressive pricing, wouldn’t confuse the consumer about Sears.

“I have no concern about that whatsoever, nor will I,” Bozic told reporters. “We have thought since Day One that we were going to come out of the box in a way that would be dramatic, and that would send a solid, clear message to the American consumer.” Asked about Mayor Sawyer’s recent comment that Sears is still 10-12 months away from making a decision to move the Sears Merchandise Group, Bozic said, “Well, we’d like to do it a bit sooner than that, obviously, for the sake of our employees, we certainly want to work toward that objective.” Additionally, Bozic said the company’s management restructuring, which has cut “several hundred” through voluntary retirements, is being studied in its field organization as well. go to site sears coupon code

In an interview after Thursday’s press conference, Bozic said that the company will continue expanding its specialty retailing strategy for the remainder of the year, with the opening of 400 Brand Central electronic outlets in 1989, as well as a new children’s apparel concept in its Merrillville, Ind., outlet next month, its “intercept” smaller-store concept at Ford City Shopping Center and Old Town in April, and a new lawn and garden store in the spring.

The everyday low pricing strategy is revolutionizing Sears advertising as well. For the first time, Sears is producing all of its newspaper inserts in full color and next week will return to an aggressive program of advertising Sears home brands as well as a growing number of outside brand names.

Sears’ latest effort continues to change the retail advertising industry and the print and broadcast entities that depend on it. The everyday low pricing theory is based on a promise to customers that they will receive the lowest price available on every item every day, which puts less pressure on retailers to push goods through occasional, heavily advertised sales or promotional events.

Bozic repeated Sears’ statement that it expects to save $200 million in ad spending through everyday low pricing, though company officials stopped short of saying that print media would suffer in favor of broadcast ad spending.

“That doesn’t mean that,” said Vice President-Marketing Tom Morris. “But we deal with a very large audience, we have to have the most efficient way to get to those customers.” Carrying out an image of lower prices in an environment where customers are used to “sale” signs won’t be easy, analysts think, but Sears has unquestionable muscle to carry it out.

“I think it will take time, because the customer has to understand it,” said Walter Loeb of Morgan Stanley & Co. “Sears will have moderate success initially, and then the rest of the industry will respond to it.” Lisa Holton