Samsung’s first stand-alone branded stores have opened today in eight cities across the UK, in a bid to challenge Apple’s dominance on the high street.
The electronics company unveiled nine new stores in London, Liverpool, Manchester, Bradford, Cardiff, Bournemouth and Newcastle – where two stores have opened. These outlets join the 22 stores the company has already opened in Germany, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and Ireland.
The new stores have opened just in time for the official launch on Friday of Samsung’s new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5, and wearables Gear Fit and Gear 2.
“We are committed to providing the most innovative and exciting shopping experience for our customers and our partnership with Carphone Warehouse allows us to do just that,” said Simon Stanford, Samsung’s vice president of IT and mobile for the UK and Ireland
The new ‘Experience’ store concept, based on customer service provided by ‘Samsung Experience Consultants’ and Best Buy sales assistants, has been seen to echo Apple’s Genius Bar model.
Within the next few months, Samsung aims to roll out a total of 60 Experience Stores across other European Countries. In the United States, the company already has around 1,400 stores, although most of them are essentially kiosks inside Best Buy stores.
The South Korean tech giant also struck a deal with retailer Phone 4U in February which promises to add 15 stores to its count. Aside from running Samsung pop-ups during the Olympics in 2012, Phones 4u also operates Samsung’s flagship store in Westfield Stratford.