Over the last two years, Best Buy stores have dramatically increased the number of smartphones and tablets they carry. Starting next month, you may find that Best Buy employees are much more inclined to offer you a Samsung product from their new Samsung section in the mobile department.
The Apple section of a Best Buy is unlike anything else in the store. Intentionally, this section of the PC department looks as though a piece of an Apple store was removed and then directly installed into a Best Buy. The displays are well spaced and allow a personal experience between you and the demo unit you are touching, instead of the cramped tables in the rest of the department where you’re bumping shoulders with the next prospective PC buyer. Even when there are lots of people in the Apple section of a Best Buy, you can still walk around and see all of the products. The employees tasked to those areas are always knowledgeable and friendly as well, it’s as close to an Apple store experience as you can get in a Best Buy. No other brand in a Best Buy gets this treatment in the PC section, but starting in about a month Samsung is going to have a similar section in the mobile department.
Geek.com has been told that the first wave of high traffic Best Buy locations will soon be receiving instruction to remove two aisles next to their mobile department and prepare to install a new Samsung store. This new section will be dressed in large Samsung signage and offer custom demo stations for many of Samsung’s products. Locations with the new section will be issuing special training sessions for employees in the mobile department, focusing heavily on how to show off Samsung-specific features.
The then newly released Galaxy S4 is expected to be the star of the show, but Samsung will also be using the space to show off their other smartphones and tablets. Later in the year, a second redesign wave will hit other Best Buy stores, ending eventually with a Samsung store in every Best Buy.
Best Buy’s role in the mobile space as become increasingly active, starting with pre-orders for new smartphones and tablets that often end in lines wrapping around stores. A heavy Samsung focus should be cause for concern for other manufacturers of Android handsets. The Galaxy S3 helped Samsung grab a major share of Android market, and even with impressive phones like the HTC Onelooking to steal some of it back this year, the new Galaxy S4 is widely anticipated to be the star of 2013. Having a special section in a retailer that already makes it easy for users to come in and demo products will be a significant advantage for Samsung, and could help Best Buy in the long run.