I’ve been saying for a while that the way to keep big box stores viable is to turn them into mini-malls, with sections that are, in effect, little brand-specific stores. Big brick-and-mortars are full of employees who don’t know a lot about the products on sale, and the fact that commissions crashed hard about a decade ago has provided zero motivation for them to learn. Even the brand-specific stores don’t tend to work well if no one is caring about the brand, so what to do? Samsung, realizing how many of its products that Best Buy moves, has partnered with the store to bring the Samsung Experience to the Blue and Yellow.
From the press release:
The Samsung Experience Shop™ will be installed in more than 1,400 Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile specialty stores across the U.S. beginning this month. By early May, 900 Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile specialty stores will feature the Samsung Experience Shop, with the remainder launching by early summer.
At the Samsung Experience Shops, consumers can experience Samsung’s full range of mobile products including smartphones, tablets, laptops, connected cameras and accessories, all in one location. The shops enable consumers to interact with and buy Samsung’s latest mobile products and experience how the devices connect together to enrich their lives.
Select Best Buy stores will have Samsung Smart Service™, which includes dedicated Samsung Experience Consultants™ and Best Buy blue shirt sales associates to assist customers with purchasing and activating mobile products on the carrier of their choice, understanding their device and supporting them throughout the lifecycle of their product. The specially trained Samsung Experience Consultants will assist with product demonstrations, basic product services, Samsung account set up, warranty registration and post purchase support.
One can imagine that this will expand, at least during the holiday season to home appliances and A/V devices if the initiative is successful, and that an awful lot of other consumer electronics retailers are keeping a close eye on this venture to see how it plays out.