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Pioneer Play

Japanese audio and video product manufacturer Pioneer Electronics Inc. will open its first retail location this month. Located at the South Coast Plaza mall in Costa Mesa, Calif., the 3,200-square-foot store will offer products that were previously unavailable in the United States and will provide limited installation services to consumers.

According to Craig McManis, the company's vice president of direct sales, a further retail expansion of the concept is possible, but will depend on the performance of the Costa Mesa store.

The company will use the store to test new products, like home theater furniture that incorporates sound systems. South Coast Plaza was chosen for the experiment because it is believed to be the highest-grossing shopping mall in California and has the high-income demographic Pioneer was looking for.

Pioneer joins several other electronics makers in launching a retail division. Dell is expected to open its first two locations this summer, while Nokia has already opened its first U.S. store on Chicago's Miracle Mile this June.

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