Best Buy’s new partnership with Samsung

Samsung just announced plans to open a shop concept within Best Buy, to highlight its mobile devices. I see this as a win for both companies, especially as Best Buy regroups under new management. Here’s my opinion from RetailWire:

I’m not sure whether Samsung aspires to open its own freestanding stores, but a sudden presence of 1400 “locations” is a big move for them. They have an opportunity to take the concept a step further, but integrating their “smart TV” assortment into their mobile shops before Apple starts selling its so-called iTV later this year. (Assuming, of course, that the rumors are correct.) And, needless to say, the partnership will be a win for Best Buy as it works to reinvent itself as a more cutting edge and less commodity-oriented CE retailer.

The other side of the discussion relates to the Apple Store itself. Has Apple squeezed as much productivity out of its relatively limited number of “doors” as possible? Can the existing stores’ service levels and sales-per-sq. ft. metrics handle another influx of new products? (The iWatch, the iTV and other rumored intros.) Or does Apple need to consider larger stores or more locations?

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