Samsung has announced that it will open 1400 “Samsung Experience Shops” that will sell company products and offer expert guidance, much like its chief rival’s Apple Stores. However, unlike the Apple Stores, the Samsung stores won’t have their own facilities—they’ll be inside Best Buy locations.
Brian X. Chen with The New York Times reported, “Samsung Electronics is giving Apple some of its own medicine. The company will set up mini-stores this summer inside Best Buys across the United States. Samsung on Thursday said it would open 1,400 of the stores by the end of June. Called a Samsung Experience Shop, each store will be an entire section at Best Buy devoted to showcasing Samsung smartphones, tablets, cameras, laptops, televisions and accessories. It will also include customer support for Samsung products, similar to the Genius Bar at Apple stores.”
According to All Things D’s Ina Fried, “About 900 of the Samsung stores will open by May, with many starting this month and the entire rollout expected by the end of June. Samsung and Best Buy have quietly been testing the concept for the last few weeks at six stores in three metropolitan areas — Dallas, Chicago and Minneapolis, Minn.”
Bloomberg quoted Samsung VP Ketrina Dunagan, who said, “This is our first opportunity to demonstrate connected mobile products in a location with educated Samsung employees able to walk a consumer through the experience. About 70 percent of U.S. population is within 10 miles of a Best Buy.”
PCMag’s Adario Strange observed, “While this new initiative represents an aggressive new phase of Samsung’s competitive strategy, frequent Best Buy visitors will note that the electronics chain has previously given Apple the same kind of store-within-a-store boutique treatment. This also isn’t the first time Samsung has tried its hand at mini-stores in the U.S. But rather than settling for pop-up shops, this deal will allow the company to take a real run at establishing a permanent retail experience across the nation as it ramps up competition with Apple for dominance in the mobile space.”