Samsung to Add Retail Locations Inside Best Buy Stores

Posted by at 12:19 am on April 4, 2013

Samsung Best BuySamsung has opened a new front in its battle for smartphone supremacy: the storefront. The Korean electronics giant plans to set up mini Samsung stores inside all U.S. Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile venues within the next couple of months — just in time for the Galaxy S4 launch. The “Samsung Experience Shops,” which start rolling out Monday, will be in 500 big-box Best Buy stores and all 410 Best Buy Mobile locations by early May. Best Buy’s remaining 550 large-format Best Buy stores will feature the shops by early June.

A larger retail presence within Best Buy — one of the world’s largest tech retailers — gives Samsung a place to directly pitch its products to consumers without shouldering the risks inherent to the retail business.

The shops in large-format Best Buy stores will include blue-shirted consultants who are employed and trained by Samsung, as well as Best Buy staffers who receive special instruction. They will be able to demonstrate products, make certain repairs, and sell and activate the devices.

Customers will be able to return to the Samsung Experience Shop for further training or customer support for the life of their devices. Best Buy Mobile stores won’t have Samsung consultants, but the Best Buy employees will have special training about Samsung products.

The stores will feature smartphones (Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, and Galaxy Note 2), as well as tablets, PCs, and other connected devices like cameras all displayed on sleek white tables. Each shop also will include a Samsung smart TV to show users how the products can interact with each other. For instance, sales representatives will show shop goers how to control the Samsung TV with a Galaxy S4.

The company operates a limited number of standalone stores in places like Asia, Canada, and Australia, but its U.S. footprint has been minimal. Samsung opened temporary pop-up shops, dubbed Samsung Galaxy Studios, in 14 malls in December, and it also operated a “Samsung Experience” showroom in New York’s Time Warner Center before shuttering it in late 2011.

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