Feature Article

April 04, 2013

Best Buy Set to House New Samsung Stores

I’m sure everyone is familiar with Best Buy, an American multinational consumer electronics corporation. With headquarters in Richfield, MN, it’s been around since 1966 and known as Best Buy since 1983.

We also know that there has been a rivalry between the Samsung Group and Apple. Each company has sued one another on a variety of different ideas and products, and are competing on the smartphone and tablet front of late.

We now have another front where these two giants can have confrontations. The one thing that Samsung does not have right now is its own retail store.

That’s about to change, as Samsung and Best Buy have been holding some off the grid concept testing. For the past couple of weeks in Dallas, Chicago and Minneapolis, Samsung has set up a small Samsung Store area within Best Buy.

The area was small with about two to four table’s worth of space. The tables displayed phones, tablets, cameras and laptops. There was also a “wall of accessories.”

When Samsung decided that they would have their own stores, they toyed with the idea of creating and opening their own retail space. After some consideration, they came up with the idea of partnering with Best Buy. Ketrina Dunagan, a vice president at Samsung who is heading the retail effort, said Samsung considered opening its own stores, but quickly decided that partnering with Best Buy was a whole lot more appealing than trying to, say, open 10 stores on its own this year.

As it is, Samsung already has a lot of products in Best Buy stores. In addition to the mobile devices, there are TVs, monitors and cameras. Centralizing the Samsung products is just good salesmanship.

According to Samsung, the stores within a store will be called “Samsung Experience Shops.” A feature of these shops is that they’ll have so-called Experience Consultants. These are people who have been specially trained in all of the Samsung products. They’ll be able to assist with product demonstrations, basic product services, Samsung account setup and warranty registration.

Dunagan said, “70 percent of consumers live within 10 miles of a Best Buy. Our goal is not that we remain expert and you remain subservient to us. We want (customers to feel) empowered, valued and delighted such that you become the expert, not us.”

This was in contrast to Apple’s approach, he said. The stores will have a concierge desk, with a trained staff member who can offer support for a wide variety of software issues.

Samsung is expecting to open 900 stores by May, some of which are already in the process of being set up this month. The remaining 500 stores are scheduled to open by the end of June, totaling 1,400 stores that Samsung will open this year.

Samsung did not want to get into any details concerning what plans it may have for other retailers or carriers. Dunagan said, “We are in constant partnership with our other carriers and retailers.”

Samsung did mention that there are some exclusive elements of the Best Buy deal.

Edited by Braden Becker

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