On an unusually warm day for New York City (~40°F) I found myself in a Samsung Galaxy store for a few minutes. A few retained observations:
It’s called Samsung Galaxy, not Samsung or any other corporate permutation. The South Korean company knows how to ride a brand horse.
The store was about the size of the ground floor of the Apple SoHo store just a few blocks away, but broken up into mini sections.
One step into the store, there is an extremely awkward concrete step with yellow-black warning stripes for a grand entrance. This would have never happened if Steve Jobs were alive or Judge Judy Koh wasn’t on vacation.
With no natural light, the store is quite dark, with dark floors and dark furniture sidings, except for the very bright artificial lighting.
The crowd was a fraction of what you’d find in a typical Apple store.
Plenty of staff walking around.
No merchandise is sold in the store.
There is ‘complimentary’ food in the center island and a mini cafe lounge in the back.
The white counters where the Galaxy product line is displayed reminded me of another store, but decidedly cheesier looking.
In fact, the whole store looked like a cross between a gaudy shopping-mall franchise and a giant CES booth.
It’s an ideal venue for students of store design and merchandizing to study (and compare to Apple Stores) matters of attention to detail, purpose, focus, traffic management, customer care and, dare I say, profitability.
As you’d expect, the whole Samsung Galaxy experience is gamified. You get a check-in card (see above), NFC-activated on the spot via a Galaxy phablet, to harvest your contact info. If you get enough points (by familiarizing yourself with various store sections) you get freebies like food, t-shirts and “a chance to win Samsung products”.
The unsurprising thing about the store was that I encountered absolutely nothing that failed to unsurprise me.
Maybe if I “come back daily” as my check-in card suggests, I might be redeemed.