Friday, 28 February 2014

Samsung’s 15 dedicated UK stores… could be good, could be horrifying

This is either a car crash waiting to happen. Or it’s a brilliantly inspired move that’s been long, long overdue.
My first instinct was to consider a true Samsung store to be rather exciting. Only last weekend I was admiring a rather stunning Samsung refrigerator belonging to some friends we were visiting. It was seriously smart — not only was it plumbed into the water supply  (with a filter!), it also had a little mini door within a door to enable quick access to milk or similar items.
I’m all over Samsung’s mobile offering, but I’m less aware of their wider product range. So a Samsung dedicated store is something that makes a lot of sense to me. The cross fertilisation opportunities of such a store could be rather profound.
But this deal above is just ‘mobileish’ — so phones, tablets, laptops and wearable jazz. I can see why — because Carphone is the partner.
If I am looking at a new Galaxy — and if I’m one of the many millions of happy Galaxy users, I’ll probably be keen to pop in at least once a year to have a look. And whilst I’m there you could be wowing me with your TVs, Fridges and baby monitors.
The FT article reckons Samsung is planning 60 new stores for Europe, a quarter (i.e. 15) of which will be UK based. The fundamental challenge for both Samsung and Carphone will be to do a decent job of these dedicated stores: If you’ve been into one of the tired Carphone stores, you’ll know what I mean. Some stores are perfectly fine, but others are filled with worn out shelves showing off rubbish plastic phones hanging by twisted security wires. I hope that’s not what they’re planning, or what the stores will become.
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