Palm giving retail another go, opening 'Experience Centers' in LA malls | webOS Nation

Palm giving retail another go, opening 'Experience Centers' in LA malls

by Derek Kessler Wed, 29 Jul 2009 10:22 am EDT

The Grove shopping center You may recall Palm’s failed experiment from a few years back. No, not the Foleo. This one is the less-acknowledged venture into direct-to-consumer retail sales. As noted at PalmInfocenter, Palm is again wading into the brick-and-mortar retail world, this time opening two “Palm Pre Experience Centers” at two upscale shopping malls in Los Angeles: The Grove and The Americana at Brand (both developed by Caruso Affiliated).

Unlike the old interior mall and airport stores that Palm previously ran, these instead will be outdoor locations under “an array of umbrellas” in the park areas of the aforementioned shopping centers. And instead of simply hawking Palm products, the Experience Centers will come equipped with Palm Ambassadors that will provide one-on-one tutorials with the Pre, HDTVs around the installation will broadcast the demos to larger groups. The ambassadors will also use the Pre’s features to help the shopping centers’ concierge staff with everything from movie tickets to restaurant reservations. While there will be all sorts of demoing of the Pre to potential customers, it’s not clear if there will actually be Pre phones available for purchase at the Palm Pre Experience Centers, but there’s no reason to believe that wouldn’t be the case.

Palm has also signed on as the presenting sponsor for the Summer Concert series at both shopping centers. Running through August, the free Wednesday evening concerts will feature artists like Vanessa Carlton, Ashley Tisdale, Michelle Branch, and Gavin Rossdale.