By Patrick Avenell
Samsung Electronics Australia will open its first local "Experience Store" later this month, marking the first retail direct-to-market venture by the local subsidiary. Predictably, the store is located close to, though not right next to, Apple's flagship Australian Retail Store.
The new store will be located at 450 George Street Sydney (the Apple store is at 367), opposite the Sydney Town Hall. In addition to being near the Apple Store and Telstra's main Sydney experience centre, Samsung's store is also a Galaxy smartphone's throw away from Dick Smith, JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman outlets.
The finer details of this venture have not been revealed, though the use of "Store" in the name strongly implies that direct selling will take place. Unlike Sony Centres, which are run by established retailers such as Bing Lee or VideoPro, there is no indication of any affiliation with one of Samsung's traditional ratail partners.
It's interesting that Tyler McGee will be leading this presentation, as the choice of the telco marketer to take centre stage, ahead of, for example, Samsung's corporate marketing director Arno Lenior. This implies that Samsung's new store will be heavily focused on the company's wildly successful Galaxy smartphone range and its nascent Galaxy Tab units.
Samsung markets electronics and appliances for every room in the house, with leading technology across its laundry, cooking, refrigeration, air conditioning and floorcare divisions. By focusing primarily - or exclusively - on smartphones and tablets within this store, Samsung could allay the concerns of its traditional retail partners, who would be very hesitant about such a popular brand selling directly.
Current.com.au will be at the gala opening of this store next Wednesday (22 August 2012). Follow me on Twitter for live coverage of the event.
Somewhate amusingly, a truck is blocking our view of the presumptive location on Google Street View: