Samsung might be hard at work copying Apple’s mini-store concept in the United States, but over in Europe, it’s taking a more cut-throat approach to acquiring a bigger share of the smartphone market. The South Korean consumer electronics giant has brokered a recent deal whereby more than 60 of smart device retailer Carphone Warehouse’s standalone stores will sell Samsung products, and Samsung products only.
Calling the deal a “preferred partner arrangement,” Samsung and Carphone Warehouse confirmed the news in a press release, in which the pair note:
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.
In essence, Samsung has partly bought out the smart device retailer, and though countless other iDevice purchase options are available in Europe (from both Apple and third-party resellers), the danger here is that Samsung could sign up even more preferred partners in the near future.
The press release indeed adds: “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.”
Given that a surprising number of non-technophiles often wander into stores such as Carphone Warehouse looking for a new handset, but without having a firm favorite in mind, the move could prove costly for Apple. Perhaps Carphone Warehouse has grown weary of the pitiful launch day (and post-launch day) stock it so often receives from Cupertino; I’ve heard first hand Carphone Warehouse managers moan against the tight leash Apple keeps its European resellers shackled to, and this move has the potential to indicate that Carphone Warehouse - for one - has had enough.
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.
It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out. No doubt we’ll be discussing the move further in next week’s edition of AppAdvice International.
In the meantime, see: The End Is Nigh For Tablet Market Growth, IDC Reports, Cheeky AI Carrot Now Makes You Want To Lose Weight And Get Fit, Or Else!, and After All That, Nintendo Confirms: No Games For iOS, But A ‘Service App’ Is Incoming.