Samsung and Best Buy are teaming up to introduce a Samsung Experience Stores within 1,400 Best Buy locations just in time for the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date in the U.S.
Samsung is clearly making a move into Apple’s retail sector, offering up a controlled retail environment with staff who are educated in Samsung’s product line.
The move is an effort to raise awareness and increase sales of Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets, as well as the Samsung Series 9 notebooks, the Galaxy Camera and other Samsung gear.
The first set of Samsung Experience stores will arrive in 900 Best Buy locations in time for the Samsung Galaxy S4 release. Samsung plans to launch the remaining shops before Summer is in full swing.
By launching these first Samsung Experience pop up stores in Best Buy locations in time for the Samsung Galaxy S4 release in May, Samsung will be able to answer consumer questions about the device, which might otherwise fall on untrained ears.
Part of the Samsung Experience stores includes Samsung Smart Service, a combination of Samsung Experience Consultants and Best Buy employees who can help shoppers pick, purchase and activate mobile devices.
In addition to selling the Samsung Galaxy S4 and other Samsung devices, the Samsung Experience Shops will offer support for the devices through their life cycle. This includes “product demonstrations, basic product services, Samsung account set up, warranty registration and post purchase support.”
It’s not clear if Samsung will enable these employees to do one the spot warranty exchanges like an Apple Genius can, but odds are the Samsung Experience Consultants will only be able to help start warranty processes.
The video below highlights what a Samsung Experience Store at Best Buy will look like.
The downside for untrained consumers is that these Samsung representatives will not be as impartial as the average Best Buy Mobile or carrier employee. Samsung is launching the pop up stores to sell the Samsung brand, and with that shoppers should expect the focus to be clearly on the strength of devices like the Galaxy S4 or Galaxy Note 2, and not on a non-opinionated rundown of the Galaxy S4 vs. the iPhone 5.
Given the large push, it is likely that most Best Buy locations will feature a Samsung Experience Store of some size this summer. There are no details on the end of the partnership, so we may see this in place for the rumored Galaxy Note 3 launch at IFA 2013.