Yesterday on the SkyTrain I saw an ad for a new Samsung Store, the first in Canada, now open in the Metrotown Mall. Today I went to have a look.
The Metrotown Mall is only a ten-minute walk from where I live, so I wasn’t going out of my way. It’s the biggest shopping mall in BC; I guess that’s partly why Samsung started there. (Technically, the mall is the “Metropolis at Metrotown,” but I don’t know anybody who calls it that.) Burnaby also has a big Korean community, so that might also be part of their reasoning.
There was a giant banner hanging in the atrium in front of the store. Here’s a photo of the store itself:
(Click the photo to see a bigger version.)
I didn’t take any photos inside the store because I didn’t want to get in trouble. There were a few big tables in the middle. The one nearest the door showcased the Samsung Galaxy S III (smartphone), which has gotten rave reviews and I’ve heard is selling really well. The other tables showcased the Galaxy Note (smartphone) and the Galaxy Tab (tablet). Each table had about six example devices, and each one had an associated tablet which gave the specs.
(There are many similarities with the Apple retail stores. There’s an Apple retail store upstairs in the Metrotown Mall. I think Samsung got a better location for their store, although it’s much smaller.)
There were displays along the walls as well, showcasing other phones, smart cameras, video cameras, and even an expensive speaker dock with two glowing vacuum tubes on top. (The vacuum tubes might just be for show, or maybe they’re used somehow in the amplifier circuitry. They did look pretty.)
I didn’t buy anything. The Galaxy S III was about $150, but only if you got it with a three year plan. I didn’t ask for details.
It’s interesting to see Samsung setting up their own retail stores. I’m not sure why they think they need them. They already sell loads of consumer electronics through their existing retail partners. Maybe it’s a marketing move, to make Samsung a more visible brand, and a more obvious competitor to Apple. If so, I think this new store does that well.