Hanspree in San Francisco

I often walk down Stockton to town, and I’ve passed by this shop many times.

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I’ve popped in a couple of times – it’s a gadget shop, I’m a nerd – but I’m still absolutely confused as to what the store’s purpose is.

You’ve probably seen the products before. If not, I offer you this link. Hanspree products are all pretty much the same – slightly crappy LCDs with a novelty surround.

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Yes, that’s a box of chips. No, the other chips.

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Like a lion in Zion

So where might you actually find something like this being used? Here’s our best guesses:

  • A kids bedroom
  • A themed environment (like a baseball fanatic’s recreation room, or a shop)

Perhaps I’m being a little pessimistic, but I don’t think these are huge segments in the US.

Driving Footfall

It seems to make sense to design the store to appeal to the same people that might buy the products. So here’s what the store looks like:

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That’s right – it looks just like the Apple store, except it’s empty

Again, I’m going to stab in the dark and guess that a store that looks like this would appeal to trendy 20 – 30 year olds or roll-neck, designer glasses wearing 50 year olds, both of them fresh from the Apple store.

What I can’t work out is where the crossover between these two segments lie. It’s possible that they are going for trendy designer parents with young kids who have themed bedrooms. That strikes me a pretty narrow segment for a significant investment.

The other possibility is that this store is a cock-up of sorts. There are plenty of reasons why it might have happened – the store looked that way before they got there and they didn’t want to change it, the store designer is being inspired by Apple rather than the customers, and so on. I think it’s most likely that Hanspree HQ have had success with this format overseas, and didn’t want to modify it for the US market.

I don’t have enough data to say either way – but if I had to guess, that’s the one I’m going with.

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