It will roll across eight stores in Australia from November 9, including at Bourke Street and Chadstone in Melbourne, Bondi and Market Street in Sydney, Queens Plaza in Brisbane Adelaide Central and Hay Street in Perth.
The new category will focus on technology as a fashion and lifestyle product that customers can envision in their own homes. Within stores, customers will be able to test connected home products in a state-of-the-art concept room and brand-agnostic technology specialists will be on hand for expert advice.
“What we wanted to do was create an environment where customers can experience [products] and feel comfortable so they can ask the right questions when they’re utilising the products,” explained head of audiovisual Scott Sullivan during a media briefing yesterday.
“[It will be] a glassed-in room within stores and will allow us to provide demonstrations and experiences to customers. This room will have its own dedicated Wi-fi, which will allow us to showcase products like Google Home and Chromecast.”
Meanwhile, the in-store technology section will be broken down into product areas based around categories instead of brands and the staffing will be taken care of by David Jones, rather than brand ambassadors. A hundred and two staff have been hired to work in the eight national stores and given in-depth training across all the individual vendors
“For us, it’s important that they’re our own staff – then you don’t have the challenge of customers saying, ‘I’m interested in that TV from Samsung and I want to compare it from LG, but [the staff member] doesn’t know the difference’. That’s why the ambassador programs for some retailers in the past has not necessarily worked,” explained Sullivan.
“It was important for us that we had the right team, but that we also had the right mix in terms of the staffing to customer [ratio]. It’s not a five-second conversation or a five-minute transaction. If you’re going to be a $10,000 LG wallpaper TV, it needs a proper conversation and understanding, so it was important our staffing model was right. Our staff has been trained across all major brands to take you through the journey of comparison and what works with what.”
David Jones will also be offering an after-sales service to ensure customers will be comfortable with the purchases they have made.
“It’s not just about you’ve bought the TV, now thank you very much,” said Sullivan. “It’s important for us that once the customer leaves, they don’t feel that DJs has just finished the transaction.”
The department store is working with an after-sales installation company and initially, all televisions will come with free delivery and installation. The service will also include at least half an hour of free in-home training so customers can be taught how their new product connects with their other devices.
“With more and more choice available, customers need to be able to experience first-hand the technology that will become part of their everyday lives,” a David Jones spokesperson told Inside Retail.
“Technology is now an aspirational product across all customer groups. From those wanting the latest fashion and design pieces, to the people focused on the best in sound and picture, our offering will have products to suit any lifestyle.”