Samsung plans to boost its retail presence in the U.S., adding more kiosks within Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) store locations. The partnership will be the second between the two companies.
Last spring, Samsung opened in-store boutiques in 1,400 Best Buy stores. Now, Samsung will bring 90 more boutiques to North America, which will be bigger, have their own checkout systems and be run by Samsung-trained staff.
The company said that it plans to operate those Samsung Experience shops for three years, and then evaluate with Best Buy whether to continue the arrangement, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Samsung's new "store-in-stores" will be another big move for the brand in the battle to win over the smartphone consumer. Samsung doesn't disclose sales statistics, but analysts estimate that between 85 million and 87 million smartphones were sold in the fiscal fourth quarter, giving it almost a third of the global smartphone market share. Those figures would account for 26 percent of smartphone sales. In comparison, Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone accounts for 42 percent of the market.
Narrowing those percentages is now Samsung's biggest challenge. Apple operates its own retail stores, which have been a selling and branding strength for the company. Samsung, on the other hand, relies on shelf space in electronics stores, which, industry wide, have seen lagging foot traffic. The new shops in Best Buy are part of Samsung's retail strategy to have a physical space where customers can have one-on-one time with the brand and try out its products.
In addition to its North American expansion, Samsung will open an additional 75 or more of its own Samsung-branded retail setups in Europe, up from the 31 currently open on the continent.
For more see:
-This Wall Street Journal article
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