Samsung Galaxy stores could be the next big thing in tech retail

Samsung Galaxy stores could be the next big thing in tech retail

Summary: Following Apple and Microsoft (and soon Google), retail stores seem like the likely next step for Samsung.

SHARE:
galaxy-s4-inhand_1

Apple isn't the only one with major hires in the retail department this year. In fact, Samsung could be taking a page (or some brainpower) from the playbook of the

According to the new tech blog The Information, which has broken a few Apple-related scoops in the last few months, Samsung has tapped senior Apple Store designer Tim Gudgel.

Gudgel had worked at the Cupertino, Calif.-based company for more than five years -- up until just last month, based on his LinkedIn profile.

It is suspected that Gudgel will be tasked with designing and leading a retail chain project in the United States for the Seoul-based tech giant.

Given that both Apple and Microsoft have sprouted stores to showcase their own products (and soon to be followed by Google and its floating barge for Glass on the San Francisco Bay), brick-and-mortar actually does seem like the likely next step for Samsung.

After all, Samsung already goes head-to-head with Apple in domestic and global smartphone market share. Arguably, it's time for Samsung to dive deeper into the U.S. market with a new retail channel to not only distinguish itself from Apple but also the rest of the Android ecosystem.

Topics: E-Commerce, Android, Apple, Samsung, Smartphones

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

22 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • I am not sure how much successful those stories will be

    Most of phones Samsung sells are very cheap, and people will not go to special Samsung store to buy it from there.

    Remember that sales of Samsung Galaxy S+Note for this calendar year will reach about 100 million units, but the starting price for Galaxy S is $150, and for Galaxy Note is $350, which cheapest iPhone is $399. (Other series than Galaxy S start as low as $70, so those are not even counted as real competition to Apple.)
    DDERSSS
    • You're an idiot.

      Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 don't have starting prices that low... They have contract prices that low and the Note 3 is $299 where as the iPhone 5c is $99 and the 5s is $199! No difference in the upper end pricing model. Oh and don't forget the Galaxy Mega line!

      Also, Samsung will sell more than 100 Million of those two phones alone and the lower end phones will have their own market numbers.

      Samsung makes some nice hardware and that's contrary to what the ignorant claim. Remember, this Samsung hardware is not limited to Phones, Tablets, Monitors, MP3 Players, 1 Set Top Box, accessories and Computers like Apple is. Samsung makes Cameras, phones, mp3 players, computers, HDTVs, 4KTVs set top boxes, DVD Players, Bluray Players, Stereos, Speaker Bars, and even Appliances in some countries! This is not a small outfit and their store would make more sense than most people having one.

      With all that said, Sony tried this with Style and now they're behind the 8 ball closing these shops on a regular basis. Of course, that's because Sony didn't believe in selling things at the right price.

      On top of that, the fact that Samsung is pretty tacky with their presentation isn't going to help them. They will either become carbon copies of Apple's stores (like their Best Buy displays).

      Personally, I love some of their phones but, hate Touchwiz and it is what keeps me from using them so, it isn't very likely that I'll be walking into a Samsung store anytime soon as their brand doesn't have much that I don't already have and honestly, I like the items I already have.
      slickjim
      • Clueless

        The only reason why Apple stores existed in the first place was so that Apple could showcase their OS/hardware which was unique to the other 95% of PC's that were on the market which basically were all the same except the logo on them (ie. they all ran Windows 95/XP). iPods and later iPhones and iPads came along which are also unique to Apple so they could showcase those too and also had Genius bars to explain and assist people who had not used these products.

        Samsung on the other hand do not really offer anything unique...their TV's are the same as everyone else's, so too their fridges, vacuums, etc. their handsets run Android which is the same as the other OEMs. I guess they could showcase Touchwiz but that is despised by tech-minded users and the others don't care. Their products are all disjointed as the software layer and service layers are all provided by other vendors (Google and MS) so there is no real reason to have the stores except to boost brand awareness.....but just like Sony discovered, that only lasts for so long when all you do is box up someone else's IP into your own hardware.
        global.philosopher
        • Clueless? Fingers are pointing back at you

          Samsung has already been operating its own stores in Korea for quite a while now, something like a decade or more.

          Are they wildly popular? No.
          Do they increase visibility? Definitely.

          Some of those stores have techs that can help you with servicing. Customers will like that, obviously.

          I don't see a reason why the same things won't be applicable to US customers.
          RattyRatty Twitchie
          • Samsung

            Also has a couple Samsung Stores in Australia!
            martin_js
          • Check it out!

            http://www.samsung.com/au/samsungstore/
            martin_js
        • Yes you are!

          Samsung doesn't need to differentiate to fill their stores. The point was that they have plenty of products and not just phones to do so.

          However, I said they were tacky so they would either create pretty lame showing or they would rip off Apple's layout the way they did their section at Best Buy.
          slickjim
          • Clueless

            Please do your research before you start making statements. Samsung put a LOT of money to rent out a part of Best Buy, the company is doing so well that they need their own section. FYI Samsung makes most of your precious "Apple" parts. Let's take the ipad air vs. Samsung Tab 3. Samsung is bigger, you're not confined to the iTunes store and you pay less. Gorilla glass, expandable memory, bigger screen, 300K more apps on the play store. Get your facts straight. Samsung is running all over Apple. Your screens and chips are made from Samsung
            Kristin L
          • ON top of that

            Best buys stock nearly doubled as soon as the partnership was announced.. Making best buys turnaround one of the fastest ever.
            TheRemy
          • Yup

            Huge line up of highly rated products... And they keep taking apple execs who see where innovation has gone and want to follow. Btw those tacky products won apples precious jd power award for tablets this year...
            TheRemy
      • "Idiot"

        100 million is figure for all Galaxy S series phones (they still sell SGS2 and other variants), which start at $150, and all Galaxy Note phones, starting at $350. Of course, I mean actual prices, not subsidized -- if you were not "idiot", you would see it from my post.
        DDERSSS
      • Correction...

        The iPhone 5S has a starting price of $199 on-contract for the 16GB model. The Note 3 comes standard with 32GB, which is $299 for that memory, on-contract, for the iPhone.

        Samsung will fail at retail just as others have. Here's why: Customer service. Apple has THE BEST customer service of any tech company, period. Their retail outlets reinforce their customer service. Samsung, and just about all other tech companies, have notoriously bad customer service. Let's not forget that the iPhone was created out of frustration of bad quality and customer service in the cell phone industry, where Samsung was already a big player.

        My big question is, why? Why does Samsung feel the need to do this when they are already the runaway winner of the Android market? Why add all of the cost and complications of running a retail store? Apple only had to do it, years ago, out of frustration that retail outlets weren't carrying their computers, before the rollout of the iPod. Had retail outlets carried Apple products widely, Apple would have never created the Apple Store in the first place.
        ruel24
  • Patent shops

    All Apple needs to do now is to convince a court in California that they invented shopping and shops, patent it, and sue everybody. Why innovate when you can litigate? :)
    andrew.cowan@...
    • Idiot

      SO basically you like the greedy companies that sue everyone for everything. Not my kind of company
      Kristin L
      • Sarcasm

        I'm about 90% sure there quite a bit of sarcasm there Kristin... Hiring on how apple was some how able to convince people they invented pinch to zoom and rectangular phones with rounded corners.... He was actually attacking apple...
        TheRemy
    • Except...

      Apple got the idea for retail stores from Gateway. Gateway had the Gateway Country Store before Apple ever created their own stores and did well with them, back then.
      ruel24
  • If it's about ONLY Samsung...it will fail.

    I think Samsung is not ready yet to open their own stores. Right now, it will only be about them, and I feel that they don't have a compelling story, with the exception of a few of their products.

    However, they are doing some interesting things with Olympics, NBA, FIFA and with Artists like Jay-Z etc. They need to develop a marketing ecosystem that shows Samsung in the middle of lifestyle things that actually interest people.

    Ideas like partnership with designers on accessories, not available at carrier stores. Ideas like selling their Chelsea jerseys. Even selling non-Samsung products that compliment their marketing ideals, such as sneakers, clothes as well as media and health lifestyle things that compliment features that Samsung is pushing like Samsung Hub, SHealth, etc.

    And finally it should be a place where a Samsung mobile device owner is rewarded for carrying their device. Have happy hour sales off accessories, have a battery swap program, free weekly content to download at the store. Invitations to store for exclusive launches via a electronic geo-tagged invite. Make it fun, exclusive and worthwhile.

    And yes, it should be a store IMO, around Samsung Mobility, not about Samsung Home. So no 82 inch Big Screen TV's, no Fridges and washers. It should be around the lifestyle of someone who is 18~30, living out of the home for the first time, either going to school or starting their career, either single up to a young married couple with no kids (prioirities change when kiddies are involved). In urban or college towns where there is a lot of foot traffic, not suburban (where people often go to big box or travel to specifc carrier stores).

    On top of it, I would have an area, partnering with Microsoft, where people could hang, play XBOX One on a Samsung TV, with a Samsung DJ using Samsung devices, etc.
    casualsuede
    • You're wrong!

      Apple has computers, tablets, phones and mp3 players along with your apple tv etc. Samsung has everything for your kitchen, tv's, blue rays players, 3D tv, Samsung smart Hub (cheaper and better than apple tv) plus Samsung gives you 50 gigs of cloud service I believe apple gives you 5 max. Samsung has way more product and a better reputation. Apple is too greedy
      Kristin L
      • Bingo!

        Samsung makes everything under the sun... Even just in the computer arena, they make computers, phones, tablets, SSD drives, and other hardware bits. Then, you figure in all the TVs, appliances... It could be a sizeable store like a Best Buy.
        ruel24
    • Don't know about Yank land! ;-)

      But here in Australia the all ready have Samsung Stores!
      http://www.samsung.com/au/samsungstore/
      martin_js