Samsung brings its own ‘Experience’ to first U.S. stores
Coming 17 years after Apple Stores arrived on the scene, Samsung plans to open its first locations in the U.S. to sell its own products.
In the U.S., the South Korean tech giant has partnered to open Samsung Experience counters inside Best Buy stores and has also launched pop-ups to showcase virtual reality (VR) technology and product launches. An 837 flagship opened in New York’s Meatpacking District in 2016 was used to showcase — not sell — product.
In a statement, the technology giant said the openings of its first three Samsung Experience stores will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the launch of the Galaxy phone and comes after “Galaxy fans, in particular, mentioned that they were looking for a space to call their own, a place where they can get a feel for Samsung products first-hand.”
The stores — at The Americana at Brand in Los Angeles, Roosevelt Field in Long Island and Houston’s The Galleria — open today, the same day Samsung will hold its Unpacked event in San Francisco. At the event, Samsung will unveil its Galaxy S10, but more importantly the long-awaited foldable smartphone.
Much like Microsoft did when opening stores, the Samsung Experience will offer a similar experience to Apple’s locations albeit with a wider range. Visitors will be able to learn about and purchase the latest smartphones, tablets, wearables, TVs and numerous IoT devices. Customers will be invited to try hands-on demos and walk-in repairs for smartphones.
Borrowing from its showcase experiments, however, the stores will also feature a number of experiential elements, including the brand’s 4D VR theaters, a 4K gaming lounge, 8K TV displays and lessons on how to create an AR emoji.
“We want to build a ‘playground’ for Samsung fans — a place to learn about and try out all of the amazing new products we have to offer,” said YH Eom, president and CEO, Samsung Electronics America, in a statement.
Samsung is planning to kick off a “pop-up tour” in other malls in March.
- Celebrate 10 Years of Galaxy at Samsung’s New Experiential Retail Locations – Samsung
- Samsung’s new mall stores will sell Galaxy and more directly to you – CNET
- Samsung will open three real stores in the US February 20th – Engadget
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is now the right time for Samsung to open its first stores in the U.S.? Will Samsung’s experiential approach help differentiate the stores and products from competitors with physical retail?