Is retail the next significant battleground between the two tech giants, Samsung and Apple? Looks like, the Korean company is about to take a leaf from Apple’s retail strategy that has been one of its great successes.
Samsung Electronics will set up 1,400 mini-stores inside Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile venues across the United States this summer.
A retail presence within Best Buy will give Samsung a place to directly pitch its products to customers without taking on the potential risks involved in retail business.
Ketrina Dunagan, vice president of retail marketing for Samsung Telecommunications America stated, "Retail is not something you jump into lightly, especially given consumers have been expecting this as a next step for Samsung.
"Although the carriers and retailers today provide a solid retail experience for our consumers, what we find is a lot of [buyers'] deeper questions just aren't answered."
"Samsung Experience Shops"
The stores called the "Samsung Experience Shops" will start rolling out in 500 big-box Best Buy stores from April 8 and all 410 Best Buy Mobile locations by early May. The remaining 550 stores will feature in the shops by early June.
The mini shops taking up about 460 square feet of prime space in the retailer’s largest stores will be set off from the other parts of Best Buy with a blue carpet. The Samsung Experience Shops will display Samsung smartphones, tablets, cameras, laptops, televisions and accessories.
Samsung will hire trained staff to demonstrate new features on the upcoming Galaxy S4 phone, and educate shoppers on how devices can share content across multiple screens. In addition, the "Samsung Experience Shops" will also include customer support for the products, quite in the lines of the Genius Bar at Apple stores.
Ketrina Dunagan stated, “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.”
Smartphone battle comes to the storefront
Given that both Apple and Samsung have great gadgets, equally phenomenal supply chains, great marketing techniques and good innovation capabilities the next step is how you sell?
The Cupertino, California-based company has about 400 bricks-and-mortar retail stores around the world with 150 outside US. It has mini-stores in Best Buy locations and partnerships with other big retailers like Walmart and Target.
Meanwhile, Samsung operates a number of stores in places like Asia, Canada, and Australia, but its retail presence in US is negligible.
Samsung says its objective to put mini stores within all of Best Buy's stores is not to compete with Apple but to push its brand and product and provide customers what they need.
“At the heart of who we are, this is about responding to consumer needs and requests and ensure they’re delighted and empowered and happy with their choice of Samsung as a brand,” said Ketrina Dunagan.