Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4u have opened the door to further retail store collaborations with smartphone manufacturers in the wake of announcing their store rollout deals with Samsung last week.
The Korean manufacturer and Carphone Warehouse inked a ‘preferred partner’ agreement, with UK rollout expected to commence in March, while Phones 4u revealed plans to convert fifteen existing locations into flagship Samsung stores across the UK, headed up by company CMO, Scott Hooton.
When asked whether Phones 4u was open to rolling out similar stores with other manufacturers, Hooton told Mobile: ‘We have done a number of other collaborations with our partners over the years, and will continue to work closely with our partners to look for opportunities – including similar deals – to collaborate in the future.’
He added: ‘The expanded retail partnership does not affect our excellent and longstanding relationships with our other manufacturer partners.’
When posed the same question, a Carphone Warehouse spokesperson said: ‘Absolutely, connected retailing is a core part of the Connected World Services offering. The experience and tools we have in selling mobile devices is invaluable where other businesses are not experts in mobile retail.’
The agreement between Samsung and Carphone Warehouse will see 60 stores rolled out across the European markets of the UK, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands. Around one third of the 60 will be located in the UK, and will be made up of a combination of new stores and existing Carphone Warehouse locations. Although a formal contract has yet to be signed, Mobile understands that the partnership is due to last five years.
The retailer also said that the planned rollout would be the initial stage in a longer-term strategy as ‘both parties are in agreement that there are more opportunities to be had’. Asked whether the partnership affected relationships with other manufacturers, the Carphone Warehouse spokesperson added: ‘We continue to have strong and positive relationships with other manufacturers and this will not change.’
The move represents an aggressive focus on the high street by Samsung as it aims for increased market share in the UK. When asked if Samsung was planning to roll out any directly managed stores, a spokesperson for the company said: ‘At Samsung we are committed to supporting and working with our retail partners to deliver mutual success. The Samsung experience Stores are a key part of this promise.
‘We will showcase the very best of Samsung’s mobiles, tablets, wearables, cameras and accessories range and provide the very best advice, support and training to our consumers to deliver the ultimate Samsung branded experience. An experience that demonstrates the superiority of our products and services displayed in the best possible way. Combined, these experiences build greater brand desire and ultimately increase demand for our products across all of our retail partners to help grow their business with Samsung.’