Palm Opens Retail Store at Stanford Shopping Center

Palm today announced it has opened a new Palm Retail Store showcasing the current line of popular Palm products and accessories. Featuring an updated design, the 800-square-foot Palo Alto, Calif., store opened its doors this week at the Stanford Shopping Center, which offers one of the premier shopping experiences in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Palm Store in Palo Alto, CANew design elements include an accessories wall, which makes products more accessible to customers, and a computer area where sales experts can demonstrate applications and HotSync capabilities. As with existing Palm stores, the new location will offer the expert support and exceptional brand experience customers expect from Palm.

"Through the retail stores, we continue to offer new and existing customers a comfortable, inviting place where they can learn about and purchase our powerful yet easy-to-use mobile computing products," said Kanwal Sharma, director of Palm Retail Stores. "We are very pleased with the success of the stores, both in terms of devices purchased and interaction with our customers."

Reaching New Users and Mobile Professionals
The Palm Retail Stores attract customers new to mobile computing as well as tech-savvy mobile professionals. More than 43 percent of customers are purchasing their first mobile-computing device, and close to 50 percent are purchasing Palm's premium products, the Treo smartphones and LifeDrive mobile manager. Many of the stores are located in some of the nation's busiest airports; these continue to be popular with mobile professionals who appreciate the ability to upgrade an existing device or purchase accessories while traveling.

In addition to the new Stanford store, Palm Retail Stores are located in three other California shopping centers -- Westfield San Francisco Centre, Westfield Shoppingtown Century City (West Los Angeles), and Valley Fair Westfield Shoppingtown (Santa Clara). Palm also opened its first New York store in the JFK International Airport on Aug. 24.

There are now 15 Palm Retail Stores conveniently located in malls and airports nationwide that carry the current line of Palm products and accessories. With the strong performance of its stores, Palm will continue to evaluate new locations in airports and malls across the country.

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Radical Displays

LiveFaith @ 9/14/2005 2:05:03 PM # Q
Wow. I love the look. Most of all the radical display of handhelds is very cutting edge. What are those neat little silver standing bases that the handhelds are sitting on? They almost look like a charging stand, base or cradle etc. Palm should think about offering such items with their handhelds. What a concept.

Pat Horne;
RE: Radical Displays
neuron @ 9/14/2005 2:09:25 PM # Q
The best shopping mall in bay area. Clean, nobel and expensive. There are also a very good APPLE store and Bose speaker store. There is a test room in the bose store, very impressive.

Well, the only complaint is: the customer services there are not so friendly, some of them even only speak spanish.

RE: Radical Displays
arp @ 9/14/2005 2:29:19 PM # Q
I'm guessing they're just cheap plastic stands with room for a charging cable to enter from the base up into the palm. Would be sweet though.

-- - my top 10 palm apps
RE: Radical Displays
AdamaDBrown @ 9/14/2005 4:44:44 PM # Q
arp, those are the official Palm cradles that they no longer bundle with their devices. They'd rather have you pay an extra $40 for the cradle, as opposed to having it included like most manufacturers do. Pat was being sarcastic.

RE: Radical Displays
svrontis @ 9/15/2005 1:34:10 AM # Q
Wow, I can just see the soccer moms flocking to this store. Not.

Palm would have been better off using the money to run adds in Business Week/Barrons/Forbes/whatever.

RE: Radical Displays
LiveFaith @ 9/15/2005 12:07:26 PM # Q
Visualize a wall full of replaceable batteries for the T3, T5, LD, Zires and Treos. Why Palm does not see the functional benefit of swappable batteries and the ensuing profits thereof is a business lesson that I guess I need to be taught.

Pat Horne;
RE: Radical Displays
JarJar @ 9/15/2005 7:35:03 PM # Q
"Why Palm does not see the functional benefit of swappable batteries..."

It may be a benefit to you, but not to Palm. The profit realized on battery products is incredibly small.

How often does one change a Palm battery? How many Palm units are sold per year? Even if every Palm user replaced their battery on a regular basis, the total amount of money to be made here is incredibly small.

Every square foot at Stanford shopping mall must generate an incredible amount of money each month just to break even and pay for that square foot. It is pretty easy to see why Palm should not be in the battery business.

RE: Radical Displays
AdamaDBrown @ 9/19/2005 12:49:57 AM # Q
Ask yourself this, though--how many sales are lost because Palms don't have removable batteries? If I'm on a trip, I want to be able to carry spares, so that I don't have to tie myself to a charger.

Palm's benefit wouldn't just be the direct revenue from selling additional batteries, it would be providing equal features to their competitors and making the devices more traveller friendly.

RE: Radical Displays
hkklife @ 9/19/2005 2:17:02 AM # Q
I bought a rechargable flashlight the other day for $10. It has a charging LED that glows red or green depending on battery status. On top of that, it has a removable battery.

I fail to see why these BASIC concepts that have long been crucial points (even taken for granted) in nearly every other piece of consumer tech (be it low-tech flashlights or high-tech cellphones/camcorders) seems to be ignored by Palm.

You know, Palm should appoint at least one Kirvin-style (No, I'm NOT joking here...not really) evangelist/fanboy zealot to man each Palm retail store. During peak retail hours, that individual could actually really do some good to educate the unwashed masses and probably even provide some unofficial tech support to the POS users who know just enough to be dangerous.

Seriously, it's not a half-bad concept.

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This is great news

ray00pal @ 9/14/2005 2:38:22 PM # Q
Every time I visit there, they have been saling pointless products from LV, Gucci and other junk. Now finally they start to sale something useful.

This is bad news
hkklife @ 9/14/2005 2:42:10 PM # Q
Again, here's $ being burned that could better go to:

1. R&D for new devices to invigorate the product line,
2. Improving the quality control process prior to a new device's launch
3. Writing patches for existing handhelds and improving the customer support experience--ie standing behind warranties & providing REAL support.
4. Buying parts of Palm OS from Access and doing a proper update for Cobalt/Garnet since PoL is still a pipedream
5. Improving their non-retail marketing (print literature, ads, building up the Treo brand etc).

I've yet to visit a Palm retail store and I cannot imagine there are too many compelling reasons for anyone to go out of their way to visit such a store. At the very least, they should have exclusive in-store specials or offers (trade in your old handheld at ANY Palm retail store for $50 off instantly?) or a Genius Bar concept ala Apple.

RE: This is great news
Ba-gug @ 9/14/2005 3:57:57 PM # Q
Great, now I have someone else to show my Dell Axim x50v to! Just kidding.

"Hambug or Ba-gug, that's me.!"
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Apple Wannabes

Gekko @ 9/14/2005 2:59:49 PM # Q

"Well, we're all out of original ideas. Let's try to copy Apple again."

RE: Apple Wannabes
JarJar @ 9/15/2005 7:44:13 PM # Q
As long as we are doing Apple comparisons, what can Palm possibly get out of doing a boutique store?

Apple has never made lots of money from Apple stores in themselves. The stores function as a high-class billboard and increase name recognition. They are image boosters not money makers.

Palm already has(had) premium name recognition and never took advantage of it. What can possibly be gained out of running an expensive boutique store?

I really hope that this store didn't suck up executive brain power to make this happen. Over the past six years Palm has used their executive brain power to do everything except work on the product. They like mergers, splits and other stock games and reorgs, but they won't put executive power into development.

RE: Apple Wannabes
joad @ 9/18/2005 11:30:23 PM # Q
...Perhaps nobody in Palo Alto or the greater Stanford area has ever heard of a Palm and/or knows where to buy them at full retail with minimal sales help?

I've checked out several of the Palm kiosks in various malls of the Bay Area and am shocked at how little they have or know about the products. The salespeople seem to be straight out of college and new Palm users themselves. They advertise about 1/3rd of the Palm products the local CompUSA carries. And they are out of stock on nearly anything you ask about anyway. Complete waste of time, but I keep going back in futile hope that they might carry SOMETHING I'm interested in and haven't seen... This is in Palm's home turf and they can't get it right - imagine how terrible it is across the country.

These flashy locations COULD be useful if only they'd display AND STOCK a decent inventory of the creative peripherals, cases, software, etc. that make their half-a%%ed efforts at PDAs and Smartphones worth the trouble of purchasing.

My last trip to one of these "stores" consisted of asking to see one of the 3 nice cases they display for the Treo 650, and having the sales dweeb NOT EVEN LET ME TRY THE DEMO CASE because they were "out of stock." Nice way to treat someone who has obviously purchased at least ONE of your $600.00 devices, idiots. I guess taking 2 minutes (when he wasn't serving anyone anyway...) to let me TRY the case wasn't worth it if he couldn't IMMEDIATELY make even more money off my stupidity of continuing to purchase Palm...

Whenever I try believing that Palm isn't working diligently to wreck whatever chances it has to survive as a company, it seems to go out of it's way to prove me wrong. I'm going to check out the Stanford store just to see if the "sales" people are as ridiculously arrogant and ill-trained as their San Francisco and Sunnyvale stores.

RE: Apple Wannabes
AdamaDBrown @ 9/19/2005 12:52:53 AM # Q
I was thinking much the same thing when I first read this story. If you're going to put the time and effort into building a store, it's silly to just stock it with blister-packed Palms and two kinds of cases. Give people a reason to stop in. Show them Bluetooth. Show them WiFi. Show them live TV streamed to a Treo, two T5's playing chess against each other wirelessly, gadgets and toys and nifty new technologies. The best way to bring in customers and keep them coming back is gadget lust.

RE: Apple Wannabes
joad @ 9/19/2005 5:33:02 PM # Q
It seems they have no problem showing you things (albeit reluctantly) IF it will turn into a "big sale" for the Palm representative. BUT - if you already have one of their devices, they have little interest in sharing anything with you - either the staff there are surviving on heavy commissions and/or they are extremely lazy.

If these stores are a "billboard" for Palm, then staffing them with commission-hungry, ill-informed sales drones is a perfect way to alienate the rest of the Palm customers that haven't already dumped them. I have ONE Apple product - a dumb little iPod - but when I walk into their stores they have a myrid of products, OEM and third-party accessories to try, (mostly) informed and helpful staff that wants to meet MY needs, NOT figure out how I can enrich their monthly commission or ignore me. I silently smirk at all the people "ooh-ing" and "aaah-ing" over all the silly Apple trinkets, but nearly every time I leave one of their stores it's with the information, product or experience that I came to get.

When I visit a Palm kiosk, it's mostly all the same handhelds I can see in any Office Depot, combined with a few out-of-stock third-party applications and several accessories for EOL handhelds they no longer sell but haven't had the time to remove from their tiny countertop case. Blah.

Frankly, Palm's kiosks have been so laughingly terrible and the antithesis of Apple's method of doing a company store that I am shocked and amazed every time Palm announces they are opening another one. I guess that's why it shows up as "news" in the forums.

RE: Apple Wannabes
Kate @ 9/20/2005 7:36:23 PM # Q
If you hate Palm so much, why use their products? No one wants o hear your sob story.
RE: Apple Wannabes
sr4 @ 9/20/2005 8:14:12 PM # Q
Another PSRC employee?


RE: Apple Wannabes
Gekko @ 9/20/2005 8:42:10 PM # Q

the monkeys at the palm retail store i went to were so lazy, clueless, and rude that i walked the F out. very very poor customer service.

by the way, i went inside an apple store for the first time this weekend (i DESPISE everything apple - their products/CEO/customers - EVERYTHING) and the place was jam-packed. i'm not sure if people were actually buying annything, but the place was mobbed.

BUT i had to get the hell out of there quick because i'm not very good at watching the lower classes cavort.

RE: Apple Wannabes
JarJar @ 9/24/2005 6:40:35 PM # Q
The retail service issues you experience at a Palm store aren't Palm problems or mistakes on the part of Palm management.

All retail stores have issues with commission--if you pay sales people too much then the sales staff will treat people like objects and only show interest if the customer is buying; if you pay too little then the sales staff will be lazy.

These are common technical retail problems and aren't Palm specific problems.

The mistake is creating a Palm retail store in the first place.

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Lose-Lose situation

ackmondual @ 9/19/2005 5:46:51 PM # Q
Call me skeptical, but Palm loses either way.

Open up the kiosk, and lost $$ which could've gone to R&D, support, development, and other investments (and hopefully not the stockholder's pockets)

not open one up, and with the way things are going for Palm, ppl not only ignore Palm, but forget it even exists altogether.

If u plan on visiting one of these kiosks, prepare to be disappointed. They're no highly trained specialists on a mission to spread the joy and pride of Palm, but equivalency employees who aren't that much better, if not worse than their Staples, cUSA counterparts.

If any of u frequent Newark Liberty International Airport, I'd read a magazine or play with one of the few PSP demo units known to be available in the US instead. THe PSP can't let u play any games. Just vid clips of games, movies, and music videos, but I'll tell you this, it was more fun there than at the Palm store. It looks 'powerful' to see Palm have a physical store, but for the rest of us who are well versed in teh PDA market, the higher MSRP will be an instant turn off for all those except those who need emergency supplies

RE: Lose-Lose situation
BimBoy @ 9/20/2005 7:23:25 PM # Q
Agreed. I stopped by the Boston Palm "store" (read: kiosk) today. After asking if they had the keyboard or a T|T5, and being told they don't generally have the keyboard and just ran out of T|T5's, I can only imagine what use these "stores" are. I'm convinced the Boston one is a joke.

The employees aren't much better. The two times I've visited were today and a few days after the lifedrive was announced. On that visit, the sales rep didn't know anything about the lifedrive. Today's brainiac wasn't much better.

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