It was my first visit to Lowyat Plaza in Kuala Lumpur, and I went there with intention to check out one of the newly opened Lenovo concept stores in Malaysia.
I chose to travel by train so I could avoid driving along the congested road at Jalan Bukit Bintang. Moreover, it was just convenient commuting by train from Bukit Jalil station to Hang Tuah Station, and I could relax and enjoy the trip. I mapped the route through Google maps and found my way confidently. This seemed a prudent move, unless one is familiar with Kuala Lumpur roads.
A: Location of Lowyat Plaza, Kuala Lumpur
I reached Lowyat Plaza easily by foot - a pleasant walk from Hang Tuah station. Otherwise, you also can take the monorail from Hang Tuah to Bukit Bintang. I preferred walking because I could browse the shops and enjoy the mix of people from inside and outside Malaysia who were shopping there.
Left: Small road to Lowyat Plaza; Right: Signboard to present Lowyat Plaza
First, I went to Lenovo concept store on G floor. The bright orange color represents the store well and seems to draw the eye of perspective customers. Lenovo signs were evident virtually everywhere - even in the reception area. A convenient kiosk or booth outside the store affords customers an opportunity for hands-on experience with some of the featured products without having to go into the store itself.
Left: Lenovo sign at reception area; Middle: Lenovo view from outside; Right: Hands-on experience booth besides store at G Floor
After a few minutes of casual observation, I ventured inside the store and spent a few moments with each product on display.
Inside the store, sales representatives are readily available to customers.
After exploring the store at ground floor, I went upstairs to the second Lenovo concept store found on the level UG. Upon arriving via escalator, I spotted the second concept store location off to my right. Customers are met with attractively arranged pedestals displaying Lenovo products just outside the store. Perhaps these provide for a bit more casual discovery of the products and prospective customers may feel more relaxed trying things out this way.
Examples of promoted products outside the store; Left: IdeaPad S10; Right: ThinkPad R61
Walking inside the store, I passed a few minutes chit-chatting with store employees. I learned a bit about the sales volumes, customer preferences for certain IdeaPads and the general types of customers who have been visiting the store. I was curious if there were a lot of students, or more working or business people. It seemed that many customers were making purchases favoring products which were thin and light - most suitable while travelling. Not surprising.
The representative mentioned that the IdeaPad S10-2 is a real favorite, followed closely by the IdeaPad Y Series.He also noted that customers were beginning to show a preference for the S10-2 vs the orignal S10, now that the new model is available. It has been a big year for netbooks.
Outside and inside the store on level UG
Gazing out the train window on the way home, I thought about the Lenovo stores and what they represented to me and to the customers who were shopping in them. For my part, I work in an office and don't often get to really see the products that Lenovo makes. Sure, I use a Lenovo PC at work, and do my work on it, but it's a different thing to see many of them in the store as products for sale. To see them as our customers see them. For me, the store is a positive thing, an affirmation of what I do everyday, and a sign of Lenovo's growing presence in Malaysia. The store matters to me.
Does it matter for the customers? I think so. It seems beneficial to Malaysians who want to invest in a quality system from a global brand like Levono since they can purchase directly from the concept store. They can choose which machine they prefer and they can see the design, feel the weight, and test out the performance of each machine in the store for themselves. They can buy with confidence, and leave with the product they want. Sure, this can be done in one of the big electronics stores, where customers can compare several brands, but those experiences seem somehow less personal to me. I think the Lenovo concept store allows customers to experience the Lenovo brand.
Where would you prefer to purchase Lenovo computers among these options; from a Lenovo concept store, a general computer shop or online shopping on Lenovo or a reseller's website?
How do you prefer to shop, and why?