1,400 Samsung Experience shops to open without an AOR

1,400 Samsung Experience shops to open without an AOR

Steve’s breakdown: Having been trained at the 1st Samsung Experience in Manhattan, I can say these shops are going to get a lot of attention. No word on who’s handling marketing yet. We suspect they might put Cheil on it for now but move it to a proper AOR soon after.

RIDGEFIELD PARK, NJ: Best Buy’s blue-shirted employees are about to get some company – Samsung has announced it will open 1,400 Samsung Experience shops inside Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores nationwide.

The concept has been up and running at two DFW Best Buy stores for a few weeks.
I visited the store at I-35 and State Highway 121 in Lewisville, TX. The second DFW Samsung Experience store is at Heritage Trace in Fort Worth.

The “store within a store” will be staffed by Samsung-trained specialists who also wear blue shirts (although a slightly different blue.)

Samsung was thought to be opening retail stores of its own, but Ketrina Dunagan, Samsung’s VP of Retail said, “Seventy percent of consumers live within 10 miles of a Best Buy.”

She said talks between the two companies started in December and they’ve been quietly testing the concept at stores in Dallas-Fort Worth, Minneapolis and Chicago.

They expect 900 stores will be open by May with the rest following by the end of June.
The shops will vary in size depending on the size of the Best Buy. The largest will be 460 square feet.

Items in the shops will come from Samsung’s mobile line of phones, tablets, laptops and cameras. A Samsung smart TV will showcase the company’s home entertainment options, emphasizing how the mobile devices interact with the TV.

There is also a 20-foot wall of accessories.

Items will be for sale in the Samsung Experience shop, but they’ll also be displayed in other areas of the store (Samsung cameras can still be found in the camera section).
The Samsung Experience employees will do more than just answer presale questions.

At the shop’s concierge desk, they’ll also help you update your Samung device’s software, help set up accounts for apps and music, transfer content, set up cloud storage accounts and provide one-on-one training.

It’s not quite like Apple’s genius bar – you won’t be able to drop off a broken phone for repair unless you’re a Geek Squad service plan customer.

There are self-service stations set up to let customers get hands-on with the merchandise and Samsung has developed a new security tethering system to allow greater access to the devices when you’re at the shop. Gone are the plastic wireties around the screen of each phone.

Separate tables are set up for laptops, tablets and phones with a fourth table set up with a variety of devices which will help customers see how all of Samsung’s devices work together.


ACLink: [acLink name=”Samsung Electronics America, Inc.” type=”advertiser” id=”bmdqoA==”]

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