You can easily shop for a new smartphone at a carrier-run store, or maybe check out the selection in the electronics department of a retail partner. Those might be the most common options around, but companies that have a retail presence of their own enjoy a whole different level of control over sales, as well as the opportunity to form closer relationships with end users and offer personal support options. Apple is obviously the type specimen for this kind of store, but we’ve recently seen Microsoft stepping-up its smartphone efforts at its retail stores, using them for its Smoked by Windows Phone challenge. The next company to start making an impact as a retailer of its own may be Samsung, which has revealed plans for a series of stores across Canada.
The proposed Samsung stores would be a mix of Samsung-exclusive “zones” set up as a sort of enclave within another retailer’s store; this is the sort of arrangement we were talking about in the UK recently regarding Phones4U. Beyond these, there will be proper stand-alone Samsung stores, where the manufacturer will have full control over how its products are marketed to potential customers. The first such location in Canada should be open before the end of the year, with more following.
While so far these plans are for Canada only, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Samsung start setting-up stores in the US if its experiment up north goes well.