Not content with being the world's biggest phone manufacturer, Samsung has decided to break into the retail space in a big way. The company already has three stand-alone Samsung stores in Spain, operated by the established retailer Carphone Warehouse. Now the two companies have announced that Samsung will expand the program, completely converting over 60 existing Carphone Warehouse retail locations into Samsung-excusive stores.

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Samsung already operates "mini stores" inside many Best Buy retail locations.

The stores slated for the change are located in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, and the Netherlands. The conversion of all planned locations is expected to take three months, after which the stores will sell Samsung phones, tablets, laptops, wearables, and accessories. (I guess those stores are too small for a refrigerator section.) Samsung is focusing on a showroom experience, much like the dedicated Samsung sections in Best Buy stores. The press release indicates that the stores will have a "premium look and feel," no doubt to put Samsung products in a good light when compared with Apple's gleaming temples of retail.

It goes without saying that the deal must be pretty lucrative for Carphone Warehouse - financial incentives from Samsung would have to offset the more diversified sales from a conventional store. Carphone Warehouse manages and maintains the three initial Spanish stores, so presumably they will continue to act as a middleman for the new locations. It's interesting to see Samsung go in this direction; if they see expanded retail sales, you can bet that Samsung retail stores will start popping up in even more markets.

via The Verge

SAMSUNG AND CARPHONE WAREHOUSE COLLABORATE ON NEW STORE CONCEPT ACROSS EUROPE

London, 29 January, 2014 -Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today announced that it has signed a 'preferred partner' agreement with Carphone Warehouse Group plc to operate over 60 Samsung stand-alone stores across Europe.

The agreement follows the successful opening in 2013 of three stand-alone stores in Spain, operated by Carphone Warehouse.  The new stores will be rolled out in the next three months across seven European markets: UK, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and the Netherlands.  The stores will have a premium look and feel and will sell Samsung mobile communications products across Samsung's full range of mobiles, tablets, laptops and wearables. 

Shoppers can expect an exciting new customer experience which merges retail and technology innovations such as Carphone Warehouse's assisted sales tool and connectivity platform using Samsung branded tablets.

There is potential to expand the relationship going forward, with Carphone Warehouse acting as Samsung's preferred partner across Europe and operating the majority of dedicated Samsung stores.

This is an important alliance playing to both companies' strengths. Together we will create a powerful new retail concept to showcase, for our customers, a wide range of products, content and services as well as injecting both investment and new jobs into the retail sector.

Andrew Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of Carphone Warehouse said:

"We are delighted to have been chosen as Samsung's preferred European partner for their store roll-out.  Our Connected World Services business will combine Carphone Warehouse's retailing expertise and systems with one of the world's biggest brands and will help us make even more lives better through connected technology."