Lenovo has today opened its first branded retail experience zone in the UK within Dixons Carphone's Reading store.
It's one of two areas designed to allow customers to see, touch and experience Lenovo's range of products, the other opening in Dixons' Bristol Cribbs store on February 18th.
The initiative will be running for a 12-month trial period to begin with, and could be rolled out to other Dixons Carphone stores depending on its success.
Dixons Carphone owns the PC World, Currys and Carphone Warehouse brands, and recently announced it would be closing 134 UK stores as it turns its existing outlets into '3-in-1' stores featuring sections for all three brands.
Localised social media campaigns will get underway in both Reading and Bristol to push people into the branded experience zones.
Lenovo has invested in the zones together with Intel, while Microsoft has also partnered with Lenovo for the initiative.
Field sales agency Retail Marketing Group (RMG) is on board, too. There will be a Lenovo member of staff fronting each experience zone, providing knowledge and help to customers.
Experience zone floor space for the Reading store is 5.4m x 5.24m, while Bristol's is 5.37m x 5.55m.
Lenovo's UK consumer director Alex Ebeid told PCR: "We’re really happy to announce this initiative today. We’re excited about it, and it’s part of Lenovo's journey to become the undisputed leader here in the UK.
"These zones are all about Lenovo being serious in investing in our brand, investing in our partner community and investing in the customer experiences.
"They will allow customers to go in and see, touch and feel what we call our ‘Goodweird’ products around the YOGA range and other products which have outstanding technology. Customers can go in and see the technology in reality within those zones. We’ve picked two key stores in the Reading and Bristol Cribbs store."
Products expected to be shown off in the Lenovo zones throughout the year include the YOGA 900S convertible notebook (due to hit shelves in late March/early April), gaming products such as the Lenovo/Razer desktop PC due later this year, the Ideapad 710S notebook and other 'Goodweird' products like the Ideacentre 610S, a mini desktop that has a projector built-in.
"We’re really excited about the gaming proposition and the experience zones will help us get those products to consumers later on in the year," Ebeid added.
"So we have some fantastic innovations coming through. We’re making the desktop exciting again."
Lenovo already has experience zones in other territories, but these are its first ones to launch in the UK.