Some retailers believe that it’s important to make their stores easy to find. They will even pay a premium for space in popular shopping centres or streets with lots of foot traffic. Sony is taking a different approach with its Xperia Aquatech Store, one that definitely does not value convenience and spits on the concept of foot traffic. For one thing, it’s underwater. For another, you have to scuba to get there. On top of that, you have to be invited.
This is a marketing gimmick to drive home the point that Sony makes waterproof devices, but it’s an admirably over-the-top (or, I guess, under-the-sea?) approach. The Xperia Aquatech concept store is only open 4m underwater in Dubai for three days, and even if you’re a PADI-certified divemaster, you need to be a contest winner, VIP or otherwise Sony-approved patron before you can enter the ridiculous jellyfish-themed underwater structure.
Sony provided scuba training and dive instructor guides to help people reach the store, along with this boat. They also provided waterproof cases for people who owned an Xperia Z3 phone, because they are only waterproof up to 1.5m for fresh water.
I am all for outlandish gimmick marketing, but it seems like Sony was a little short-sighted here. Why not open the store to anyone capable of getting there? Non-contest-winning scuba divers could easily make the trip. And at 4m even a free diver could plug their nose and plunge long enough to reach the store.
But maybe Sony isn’t so crazy catering to the scuba set. Setting up underwater stores near popular diving sites wouldn’t be the craziest thing. At the very least you could markup waterbottles like crazy, since regulators are like dry mouth generators. Then again… not many people carry their wallets in their wetsuits. [Xperia Blog via Slashgear]