On Wednesday, Samsung and Best Buy announced the grand opening of Samsung Experience—an in-store kiosk showcasing all of Samsung’s flagship smartphones, tablets, cameras, laptops, accessories and other products. There are now 200 Best Buy locations in the U.S. with Samsung Experience shops, and 900 more will be added to Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores by early May. By early June 500 more shops are set to appear in U.S. Best Buy stores, bringing the total number of Samsung Experience shops to 1,400.
Samsung invites consumers to “experience innovation in every corner of the U.S.” by launching more than a thousand mini-shops across the county, said J.K. Shin, Samsung’s mobile president.
“Our carriers and retailers have been a very important part of our success,” Shin said.
“It’s kind of an exciting opportunity we have,” Hubert Joly, Best Buy CEO, said at the Best Buy in Union Square in New York City. “For Samsung, in many ways it’s their store so they’ll want to do as much as they can to make it unique.”
Each Samsung Experience shop will be fully staffed with Samsung employees as well as Best Buy's traditional "blue shirt" workers that have been extensively trained on its array of products. According to the company, Samsung flew its employees to different areas of the country for face-to-face training sessions, in addition to 50 hours of online certification.
Besides providing information and advice about products, Samsung’s blue shirts will assist customers with trade-ins, upgrades, and answer any questions relating to software. They will work in conjunction with Best Buy’s Geek Squad to address hardware concerns and perform product repairs.
“This is absolutely a destination for users to get service,” Tim Baxter, Samsung USA president, said at Best Buy’s location in Union Square, New York City.
Best Buy will also feature a Samsung Experience section of its website that will offer the same products you’ll find in-store. However, according to Joly, the majority of smartphone sales happen in brick and mortar shops rather than online.
“[Consumers] want to see, touch and feel the product,” Joly said. “It’s a very rich experience.”
Although Wednesday’s event marked the grand opening, this isn’t the first time Samsung Experience kiosks have appeared in Best Buy stores. In early March, Samsung rolled out six test versions of its Experience shops in Chicago. which has grown to 200 as of today.
“The early indications from initial stores show positive customer feedback,” Baxter said. “Both [Samsung and Best Buy] are committed to making this big. How big? We don’t know yet, but we’ll see.”