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Palm Opens New Retail Stores

Palm has opened a few new retail stores in recent weeks. Like most of Palm's retail locations these stores are located within airport terminals. The new stores now listed on the Palm retail website include: Charlotte Douglas International Airport (main terminal), Orlando International Airport and in Ohio in the Cleveland Hopkins Int'l Airport.

Palm Retail Store in Palo Alto, CAPalm's list of retail locations can be found here. There are now 24 Palm retail locations in the US.

All Palm Retail Stores offer the following:

  • a hands-on experience with the current line of popular Palm products and accessories, including Palm Treo smartphones, the Palm LifeDrive mobile manager, and the Palm TX handheld and Palm Z22 organizer;
  • software applications from Palm and third-party developers; and
  • expert support and the exceptional brand experience customers expect from Palm, demonstrating the company's vision that handheld computing solutions can help people enhance their productivity and enjoyment of life.

Thanks to hkklife for the tip.

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doing something is better than nothing...

cbowers @ 3/20/2006 1:10:40 PM # Q
But I'd sure like to see new product (from both Palm and Palmsource) instead.

RE: doing something is better than nothing...
dagwud @ 3/20/2006 1:59:43 PM # Q
Actually, doing something is just doing something. It's not necessarily better than doing nothing.

And I, too, would sure like to see new product - especially if it's something that makes me want hop off the Metro at Reagan National to take a look.



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PalmPilot Pro (1997) -> III (1998) -> Vx (1999) -> m500 (2001) -> m515 (2002) -> ???

RE: doing something is better than nothing...
hkklife @ 3/20/2006 2:04:27 PM # Q
A semi-succesful 700w launch, a handful of new retail stores, a LD $50 price drop, and a pay-to-download TX update.

That's not TOO bad for Palm thus far in '06. I do agree that now is THE time to announce & ship new product, even if it's not much more than a mild refresh of the PDA line before the new Treos start to trickle out this summer.

Anyone see the almost certainly a hoax antenna-less COBALT BLUE Lowrider shots over at TreoCentral? It looks like someone painted the backside of a Treo 600 and cleverly PhotoShopped the antenna out of the image.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: doing something is better than nothing...
hkklife @ 3/20/2006 2:10:02 PM # Q
Dagwud;

Aren't most of the retail shops @ Reagan past security? Ie; you can't get to them unless you are a ticketholder and/or have a security pass?

Ryan;

It might be a good article for PIC to have a bunch of us regulars who are all around the country go into a couple of the Palm retail kiosks/stores incognito and list our experiences there. It might help illustrate the huge disparity in store staff experience/knowledge and, honestly, help Palm (or whatever mobile tech retail entity it is that runs the stores for Palm) go about better training & equipping the store personnel.

I still maintain that the real way to draw traffic into those stores is to offer, essentially, a gimmick. Some limited edition model such as an 8gb instead of the usual(?) 6gb LifeDrive2 or a black Treo with real aluminum accents or something. Just have it available only on Palm.com and in the company stores.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: doing something is better than nothing...
joad @ 3/21/2006 12:02:31 PM # Q
"I still maintain that the real way to draw traffic into those stores is to offer, essentially, a gimmick. Some limited edition model such as an 8gb instead of the usual(?) 6gb LifeDrive2 or a black Treo with real aluminum accents or something. Just have it available only on Palm.com and in the company stores."

-THIS is exactly why it's usually pointless to visit the "PALM" corporate stores: there's really nothing interesting to see there, the prices are full retail, and it's hit or miss (too often "miss") that you'll find anyone with any deep knowledge of the product line.

Extremely rarely you will see a third-party accessory or software, but they're usually "out of stock" on them anyway. From what I recall most people buying new Palms are repeat buyers, so it's not like people "don't know" what Palms are. Basically Palm is "preaching to the choir," so why not offer things in the store that "the choir" will find worth buying, rather than the same dregs you can find in nearly any Staples Express store?

RE: doing something is better than nothing...
hkklife @ 3/21/2006 2:27:32 PM # Q
Joad (or anyone else);

How many Palm company stores have you been into? Are the salespeople utterly clueless ("gold USB 1.1 cables are just as fast as USB 2.0") or just moderately so ("The LifeDrive's HD has more storage space than any SD card on the market")?

I've just been in two Palm stores...one was one of the newest stores (had the "Palm" logo in orange) and had a pretty decent selection of travel bags & 3rd party stuff. The other one was a kiok right when they started opening them. The clerk was completely clueless and actually suggested I seek out a Franklin Covey store for a better selection of accessories.



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: doing something is better than nothing...
dagwud @ 3/22/2006 10:26:44 AM # Q
hkklife, Reagan is odd. You can actually get to the stores without going through security checkpoints. Checkpoints are at the end of each terminal's "spoke" rather than at the general entrance to the concourse.

You can check their shopping map to see the location of the Palm store.

http://mwaa.com/reagan/shopping_dining_3/shopping_dining_map_2


--
PalmPilot Pro (1997) -> III (1998) -> Vx (1999) -> m500 (2001) -> m515 (2002) -> ???

RE: doing something is better than nothing...
joad @ 3/22/2006 4:32:27 PM # Q
hhklife: Point taken, I've only been to 2-3 kiosks (and repeat visits to each) and at least one store. Maybe not a substantial research project, but a fair sample of their offerings. The kiosks were miserable up through last year, though my last visit to one had an employee that seemed to have more knowledge about Palms than the usual ability of the average Kelly temp.

I agree with the impression of "cluelessness" from many Palm store employees. When the local Staples chimps have more knowledge and less sales pressure about Palm's products than Palm's store staff, that's not a very good sign for long-term viability.

At 2 of the kiosks I wanted to try one of the few third-party cases, and was flat-out refused the honor because "they are out of stock." They had the demo on display, but apparently they wanted to be hostile to their known customers (I had my Treo right there) because they didn't have the prospect of an immediate sale.

When Palm's representatives work so hard to wreck what's left of their goodwill for apparent selfish interest, it doesn't seem the stores are doing much positive for the overall Palm strategy. I'll have to check out another store soon to see if anything has changed in recent months.

RE: doing something is better than nothing...
hkklife @ 3/22/2006 5:00:31 PM # Q
If nothing else, the new Charlotte Douglas store is much more aeshtetically pleasing and better laid out than some of the older, smaller stores/kiosks. I also think that (surprisingly) the bright orange Palm logo, despite looking like something a basketball apparel manufacturer would have, is rather eye catching and highly visible against the beige/grey/white airport concourse backdrop. Palm's definitely taken a tip or two from Apple in that regard.

To date the best Palm retail experience I've ever had was in a Staples a couple of years ago when I bought a Zire 31 as a gift. I "played dumb" and asked all of the wrong questions. The sales guy (probably in his late 20s- early 30s) was courteous, helpful, non-pushy and didn't even try to upsell me to the T|E...he said he was certain that the Zire 31 was the best compromise between the feeble Zire 21 and the T|E.

I actually have bought (on two separate occasions) stuff at the Philly or Pittsburgh airports (can't remember which) where they have a mini-Staples within one of the concourses. This was pre-Palm store, of course, but I got a car charger & spare pack of styli for an overseas trip and then bought a MMC ROM games card to kill time when my flight was delayed and I didn't have a laptop or a gameboy with me. For those sorts of impulse purchaes the stores (Palm company stores, mini Staples etc) are a very good idea as long as their prices aren't too stratospheric.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: doing something is better than nothing...
hkklife @ 3/23/2006 10:29:44 PM # Q
In case anyone was wondering, the Palm store @ Charlotte Douglas Airport is at the corner of the main atrium/food court area across from the newsstand/gift shop. It's adjacent to the connecting corridor leading the the D & E concourse (in the spot where the candy store used to be).

You can't miss the bright orange Palm logo!

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

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Only people who travel by air use palms

palmdiva @ 3/20/2006 3:28:38 PM # Q
Apparently so according to the placement of Palm store. At the very least it would make sense to put stores in some of the busier train stations, since there shops are not behind security check points, Union Station in DC. Penn Station in NYC and 30th street come to mind. When I travel I'm usually taking an early flight and many airport shops aren't open then.

If palm is serious about retail opportunities, then they need to think about major malls and have the stores staffed by people who have a clue. When I want a laugh, I go to the big box stores and listen to the staff try to sell handhelds or answer the questions of the customers.

I'm still waiting for Palm to get a clue and do a series of workshops around the country at events for women. Women approach technology differently and some are still intimidated by it. They often need a different approach to it.

Does Palm have a clue about other potential customer bases, I think not?


RE: Only people who travel by air use palms
hkklife @ 3/20/2006 3:51:39 PM # Q
Palm should also seriously go after the healthcare market (yes I know that's not directly related to this article's retail focus but still). I know that Palms used to be de facto accessories for doctors & even some nurses 4-6 years ago but that grip is starting to weaken as many switch to WinMob units.

It'd probably help Palm to aggressively try to slow the erosion on that market as well as reach some newer markets as well. Palm's declining "fleet wide" battery life probbly isn't helping matters. Come out with a new Palm with an SD slot and the ability to go 3-4 days on a single charge and there are many profssionals who would snatch it up. All it'd take would be a T|E2 style unit with a Treo 650 or larger battery and some honest-to-goodness powper management/underclocking software standard.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: Only people who travel by air use palms
palmdiva @ 3/20/2006 6:28:48 PM # Q
oh absolutely, as someone who works in the biomedical scientific information field, I cannot tell you how many questions I have answered for healthcare personeland spoken at various hospital grand rounds over the years. They have also ignored the library profession. I have yet to see a handheld vendor exhibit at the SLA (Special Libraries Assoc) Conference. These are your librarian for everything from Microsoft and Nike, to Citibank and big pharma. The greater majority use handhelds, many of the products we use are available on mobile platforms and are internal customers often look to their company librarians for advice.

You have to wonder, does palm have a marketing strategy, if so it's pretty pathetic. I'd welcome the chance to to tell the CEO, what they're doing wrong.

RE: Only people who travel by air use palms
hkklife @ 3/20/2006 6:53:44 PM # Q
Palm only wants to sell as many Treos as possible in the shortest amount of time to the big carrers. Everything else is either secondary, superfluous, or just outright ignored.



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: Only people who travel by air use palms
joad @ 3/21/2006 12:10:34 PM # Q
...well then they had better get that 700p out the door before I go back to pen and paper because the 650 memory layout is driving me nuts!!

RE: Only people who travel by air use palms
cbowers @ 3/22/2006 12:51:13 AM # Q
Palmdiva,

While Palm may have ignored the Library market, other licensees at least had them in their sights, so its a shame the PalmSource dynamics pushed them all out.
Remember that this was years back now, but note the Digital Library Assistant on this HandEra page.

http://www.handera.com/Services/PalmOSProjects.aspx

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