It wouldn't be the first time Samsung has taken more than a healthy dose of inspiration from Apple, but according to a recent report, the Android-powered smartphone-maker has hired an ex-Apple Retail Store designer ahead of “a bigger plunge” in U.S. retail.

The news comes from The Information (and reached us from AppleInsider), which explains that the new hire, Tim Gudgel, is an architecture specialist who graduated from Washington State University. He has a wealth of experience planning and designing Apple Retail Stores; though his LinkedIn profile doesn't yet reflect the change, Gudgel has indeed joined Samsung's ranks, The Information confirms.

But if the publication has it right, Gudgel's employment is much more than a just a new hire for the South Korean company. Instead, it's indicative of what The Information is calling Samsung's “deeper investment in U.S. retail,” which will see countless retail stores launch across the United States in the coming years.

It's hardly surprising given the company's new hire, but The Information adds that Samsung's retail expansion will indeed largely mirror Apple's.

Earlier this year, we explained how Samsung was looking to copy Apple's “mini-store” campaign; subsequently, the company launched 1,500 Samsung Experience Stores within Best Buy retail locations:

Despite claims to the contrary, Samsung’s new initiative sounds just like the concept Apple perfected nearly a decade ago. That isn’t necessarily bad, just the reality.

Then, back in August, we heard that a larger Samsung Experience Store was set to launch in Sydney. Design plans indicated that the new retail location would look an awful lot like a nearby Apple Retail Store, in a move that prompted countless commentators to accuse Samsung of outright copying Apple.

We'll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.

In the meantime, see: For The First Time Ever, Sky Sports Channels Come To Apple TVs In Britain, British Carrier EE Confirms 4G LTE Roaming Agreement With AT&T, and Groupon Goes Universal Just In Time For Your Deal-Of-The-Day Holiday Shopping Spree.