Best Buy May Become the Department Store of Electronic Brands
With Apple already having a store-within-a-store presence in many of the Best Buy retail locations across the U.S., the big box electronics retailer may become something akin to an electronics department store once Samsung opens its store-within-a-store at local Best Buy locations as well. Samsung will be the latest to join the retail trend, but instead of building its own store fronts, the Android smartphone and tablet manufacturer may work with Best Buy to create a branded space inside Best Buy retail stores.
The move, reported by Geek.com, may be the latest to promote the Galaxy S4 smartphone. It’s unclear how much of a return Samsung would be getting with its store-within-a-store presence as Best Buy already stocks many of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones and tablets, both as WiFi-only models in the case of tablets and with embedded mobile broadband sold with service plans from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
Reportedly, the Samsung display showcase won’t be positioned next to Apple’s. This is somewhat of a different strategy than what Microsoft is doing as Microsoft is positioning entire retail stores right next to or across the way from Apple retail stores at many malls across the country. Instead, Samsung’s display area will be hosted in the high-traffic mobile area at Best Buy locations. Traditionally, Best Buy hosts Apple’s retail showcase near the tablet or computer area.
Geek.com has been told that the first wave of high traffic Best Buy locations will soon be receiving instruction to remove two aisles next to their mobile department and prepare to install a new Samsung store. This new section will be dressed in large Samsung signage and offer custom demo stations for many of Samsung’s products. Locations with the new section will be issuing special training sessions for employees in the mobile department, focusing heavily on how to show off Samsung-specific features.
The stores will begin rolling out by the end of the year in the U.S.
It’s also unclear at this time what impact Samsung’s larger presence in Best Buy will have on other Android manufacturers, like HTC, LG, Motorola, and Sony. Samsung will have an advantage in that retail staff on hand will be trained to answer questions about Samsung products, the TouchWiz UI, and any Samsung-based software enhancements that Samsung may add on top of Android.
In addition to Best Buy, as many U.S. carriers will be carrying Samsung phones and tablets, Samsung’s products can also be experienced at carrier retail stores.
In the past, Samsung had created temporary pop-up stores in malls across the U.S. to feature new products, like the handwriting capabilities of the Galaxy Note lineup or the new camera and zoom feature of the Galaxy Camera.
HTC is also trying its hand at retail spaces abroad, but so far nothing has emerged of an HTC retail presence in the U.S. market. If HTC plans a similar move in the U.S. with Best Buy, then the big box retailer may be akin to a Neiman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue department store, but rather than having individual smaller clothing boutiques Best Buy will host electronics boutiques.