DJI Orange County, a drone experience store offering the full gamut of sales, service and support, will officially launch Saturday in Costa Mesa.
The store at 2927 Bristol St. will feature an array of products from DJI — a Chinese company that is considered a dominant force in the drone industry.
The Costa Mesa location is one of five DJI-authorized stores nationwide. Others are in San Diego, San Francisco, Denver and New York.
At roughly 1,600 square feet, it’s also the largest in terms of storefront space — a fact owner Patrick Smith proudly points out.
“I don’t like to be second for anything,” he said with a laugh during an interview Friday.
With The Lab across the street and The Camp and South Coast Plaza nearby, Smith said he thinks the Bristol Street site is an ideal location.
“We’ve always wanted to be in the heart of Orange County, so when the opportunity came to be one of the first to open up a DJI store, this was where we wanted to be,” he said.
DJI drones come equipped with stabilized cameras and can serve recreational purposes — like taking photos or video to post on social media — or fill industrial niches in fields like agriculture and public safety, according to DJI Orange County Operations Manager Wesley Parsons.
While other retailers like Best Buy and Target might sell some DJI products, they only sell the consumer models, he said.
“You don’t have access to the higher-end cinematography or photography equipment at those locations,” he said. “It’s only at a place like this that you can get it. We carry the entire product line.”
The idea is for DJI Orange County to be like an Apple Store for drones — providing customers with a single location to browse, shop, seek technical advice or repair their devices.
It’s certainly got the look down.
Slick display tables feature models ranging from the pocket-sized “Spark” to six-rotor professional-looking rigs. Large video screens show off the products and their applications.
In the corner is a caged-off space where customers can perform test flights.
Just the fact that a drone-centric store can exist today demonstrates both the growth of the industry and the changing nature of its clientele, according to Smith.
“It’s like consumer electronics now,” he said. “It’s almost becoming an extension of your phone. Just like everyone carries a phone, I see people carrying little drones with them almost everywhere they go.”
DJI Orange County will hold a grand-opening celebration Saturday featuring product demonstrations, giveaways, souvenirs and promotional offers for visitors, according to its website. Doors open at 10 a.m.
“The goal is to have the most amazing store in the United States, the largest one, and we’ve definitely accomplished that,” Smith said. “I want people when they walk through the doors to be like, ‘Wow! Whoa!’ and I hope that’s what we achieved. I have a feeling we did.”
More information on hours, products and services is available at djistoreoc.com.