Exclusive: Samsung has confirmed that they are set to install private Wi Fi networks and their own sales force into selected retail stores across Australia after ChannelNews revealed that more than 90% of retailers are unable to demonstrate broadband connected products.The Korean Company has also confirmed that they have trained more than 20 staff who will work part time as promoters in selected stores in an effort to educate consumers on the new range of Samsung IP enabled products that include Smart TVs, Ultrabooks, tablets, smartphones, digital cameras and Internet connected home theatre kits.
Samsung Australia’s director of audio-visual, Philip Newton, said that retailers who have missed out getting a Samsung funded private Wi Fi network are going to have to “prove that they are worth investing in”.
“We cannot go to every store as this is a costly exercise, what we are doing has to be done properly. With the new products that are coming we are going to have to explain things like voice control, gesture recognition and connectivity. What we are launching is AV devices that are very feature rich and they need to be explained.” said Newton.
According to Newton a television sale has moved from being based around display quality to now being as much about smart TV technology and built in processors to applications, smart TV controllers and attach devices such as Wi Fi enabled digital camera content, smartphone and tablet connectivity.
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He said that the Samsung promoters who will work at peak times in selected high profile stores where Samsung products are being ranged, will explain four key elements of the Samsung AV offering, they include “content spanning video and music, what we call TX which is the control devices that allow for voice activation and gesture and connectivity which includes connecting things like a Samsung digital camera via a Wi Fi connection. We will focus on the real killer features that differentiate Samsung from the rest of the pack” Newton said.
The new Samsung Wi Fi networks in stores will be mutually exclusive to Samsung products.
ChannelNews has been told that several vendors are now looking to follow Samsung’s lead and install their own broadband networks in selected stores due to a lack of broadband investment by retailers.
In recent months several vendors have complained to ChannelNews about the poor quality of service in stores like Harvey Norman, David Jones, Myer, Big W, Dick Smith, The Good Guys and Bing Lee.
A Dick Smith employee who contacted ChannelNews yesterday said “It’s becoming very difficult to sell IP enabled devices; consumers are coming into stores wanting a demo and we cannot show them because we do not have broadband in stores. Dick Smith has also cut back on staff levels so at peak periods we struggle to even service customers”.
One major vendor said yesterday “We not only have a problem with the stores refusing to invest in internet connectivity, they are not investing in staff education, and as a result a lot of products are not being explained. The exception is organisations like Telstra, JB Hi Fi and Apple stores. Even a lot of the smaller stores are able to sell and explain a product better than some of the bigger chains. I think the time is coming when we cut back on who is allowed to sell our products in favour of those who make a commitment to selling the products properly”.
One vendor quipped “It’s amazing that retailers are prepared to invest in electricity to turn on the devices but not an Internet connection to show how the devices work. It’s a bit like having a TV on the floor with no picture fed to it”.