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Shrewd Samsung's "Good Move" Into Dick Smith

By Oonagh Reidy | Wednesday | 19/06/2013

As the Galaxy giant looks set to erect mini stores in Dick Smith, loyalty has soared

The partnership seems to be a good move for the Samsung brand, as Dick Smith has a large number of stores, says Tamsin Timpson, Strategic Insight Director of market researcher Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

Earlier this week, it emerged Samsung is planning a store-in-store type concept in select Dick Smith stores in Sydney, with brand ambassadors "to actively promote, demonstrate and sell Samsung-branded product."

Even though Samsung has two stores in OZ, Dick Smith has hundreds of locations spanning every city and town.  

"It opens up another avenue for Samsung," says Timpson. Samsung's smartphone brand loyalty in Australia has swelled even further in 2013, according to new Kantar figures. 

Samsung pop-up store at Sydney Opera House to coincide with S4 launch.

Apple iPhone already has the 'in-store' experience, but Samsung Galaxy is starting to encroach more and more into Apple's once loyal customer base, with the release of hero phones Galaxy S2, S3 and S4 earlier this year. 

And the figures speak for themselves.

Loyalty for the once-worshipped Apple iPhone brand, traditionally massive in this country, (think all-night iPhone 4S/5 hysteria and queues) is fading fast, slumping to 76% in March '13 from 83% in December '12, Kantar figures show.  

Meanwhile, loyalty to mobile darling Samsung Galaxy is soaring quarter by quarter and is now almost 64% - up 4% from December '12. Most of those steering away from iPhone are veering towards Samsung, says Timpson. 

The Samsung user profile in Oz is different to rival Apple's - the bigger screen Galaxy smartphone is favoured by younger males, differing from Apple's female-orientated user base.  

The Samsung Galaxy S3, S4 are Samsung's hero products, propelling it to No. 1 phone maker globally, and the promotion of a "slicker", sexier brand adds to the customer experience.

"Samsung is really succeeding in increasing its loyalty", so store-in-store will definitely help them further along, says Timpson. 

It also pushes an entire Galaxy eco-system into the 'hearts and minds' of tech-hungry consumers, who are then more inclined to buy a Galaxy Tab, camera or even branded TV. 

The first Samsung store in Sydney's CBD, opened last year, showcases its entire range of products - everything from S4, Note II to notebooks, ultrabooks and TVs. 

There also a dedicated "Galaxy" counter, with tech gurus kitted out in the brand's blue colour solving mobile issues. 

The first Samsung pop-up store emerged in late 2011, when it launched Galaxy S 2 in the midst of the iPhone 4S release frenzy, but soon became a permanent structure, located just up the road from the Apple Store on Sydney's George St. 

Earlier this year, another Samsung Store in Melbourne CBD was opened. 

"People are iPhoned out of it" says Timpson, noting iPhone ownership is skewed towards older demographics.

And no-one wants the same phone their mother has. 

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