What's Your Take On Single-Brand Stores?

Samsung opened a dedicated store in the Sydney CBD last night. Branded technology stores are on the rise, but are they the best place to shop?

Retailers dedicated to a single technology brand can be very successful, Apple being the obvious example. Sony also has dedicated stores, and Microsoft operates branded outlets in the US, though not yet in Australia.

For consumers, these locations have obvious advantages: they're well-designed, usually offer free Wi-Fi, and have staff who are experts in the products on offer and know how to make them work together. The downside is that they're rarely (if ever) the cheapest place to buy a device. An outright buy Galaxy S III at the Samsung store is much costlier than if you shop around online. The same is equally true in the Apple store; the regular 10 per cent off Macs you'll see at other retailers never happens at Apple's own outlets.

No technology-branded store is going to entirely replace existing general outlets; as Luke as Gizmodo reports, Samsung doesn't plan additional stores anywhere else in Australia just yet. In any event, I'm not going to travel to the city to buy a Galaxy Tab if there are phone and electrical retailers in my suburb with the same deal.

Are you a fan of brand stores, or will you hunt around for a better or closer deal? Share your thoughts in the comments.


    Ass for unbiased researching new gear to buy. By the time you've made your way to a single brand store... you've already decided that nothing else is worth looking at. For filling in some time in town while the missus shops, or waiting for transport/appointments/other people, sure, go and fiddle with some new shinies. Even for buying gear once you've decided what brand/model etc... most people will probs go online anyway.

    Everything Samsung does seems to reek of 'Copied in Korea' mentality. They may open a store in the same vein as Apple has, but they lack the credibility of an innovator; hence why they follow and copy.

      I recall Sony doing this well before Apple ever got popular again

        I recall Holden and Ford doing it long before Sony.

        It's not a new thing and has been around for ages.

      You do know that Apple weren't close to being the first technology company, let alone first company to open an own brand store? Apple copied the others first.

    To me these stores are as much (or more so) a marketing exercise than a retails one.
    How many people do you see in Apple's stores "playing" with their toys, using the free WiFi and generally killing time?
    How many of these then queue up to make a big purchase? In my experience very few.
    But hey, the consume got to sample their product, something that can be more difficult at other retailers on online. If they then go elsewhere to buy it is still a sale of that manufacturers product.

      actually, apple retail makes more per square meter of retail space than any other store in australia.


          I don't know the facts, but Apple fans usually pay way over the odds for their gear. Apple's markup is far more than any other company. A friend sold their iPhone 3G on Ebay earlier this year - bidding went to $350 - a crazy stupid price to pay for a 4 year old phone. So until Apple fanboys start doing research and treating Apple like a religion, that wont change.

    One major advantage of a single brand store, that if it is owned by that company we will try to show off the best of the products. One thing Samsung has been doing for a number of years and should keep pushing on is Convergence Technology. It is not something we see walking in the one of the big retail stores (HN, JB Good guys). Which means most Australian's are not aware of what they can to. My own sister who owns a Galaxy S, didn't know that she could stream photos and videos to her Samsung TV. Once I showed he, she wished she was aware of this technology before hand. A store like this can educate the people who go in, and as people understand more, we may see more more cool stuff down under

    The point of a flagship store is NOT to make sales. Of course they'll have stock on hand and will be happy to sell stuff to you, but you'd be crazy not to pricematch at JB first.

    In any case, the point of such a store is as described: to demonstrate synergy between like-branded products so you can see for yourself what the marketing is all about.

    Personally I prefer the store-within-store idea that you see at David Jones (in that case, with fashion brands) or the JB flagship store in Sydney. You can better compare whole systems :--]

    I don't look at these branded tech stores as a place to make sales. They're definitely set up for marketing. If you take a look at the Apple store consumers can test products, talk to experts, etc. So basically you're there to experience.

    Pioneer did this back in the 90's, but closed their stores in the late 90's due to costs

    Samsung can make for a much better 'concept' store than apple simply because they offer things for your entire home; applicances, TVs etc etc.

    As well as offering and promoting what they sell Samsung's stores could have a concept section to show off 'things to come'. Heck if they had a demo OLED unit people may think about it months later when it's time to buy a new TV...

    Good idea & fair:
    Research different products online > go to flagship store for a play > order from cheapest site on the web.

    No need to buy from Dick Smith's/HarveyNorman/Myer with their high markups.

      Or get HN/ Dick Smith or Myer to price match. They say they don't match online prices, but you can always find an e,ployee that will. Then if it goes faulty, you don't have to post it back at your cost.

    Single brand stores are definitely the way of the future. I think that in about 20 years there will only be single brand stores operating for everything apart from Supermarkets and big retail outlets (think wallmart sized) and maybe clothing stores (although some new tech could theoretically put them on the hitlist too). With the advantages and convenience of online shopping it is only a matter of time before this happens. I think that getting a job in retail in 20 years will be pretty damn difficult!

    They would be great if they stocked a full range of devices and accessories (I'm looking at you Sony). Quite often it is impossible to find genuine accessories that are clearly advertised on the manufacturer's website. Phone chargers, docks, special cables, headsets, lenses, bags, batteries, etc... Instead they only stock the most saleable items like TVs making them less useful than JB HiFi.

    overseas they are everywhere, clearly they have the population to handle it.
    it sill feels odd and foreign to me, but i would definitely assume staff knowledge is higher in a single brand store.

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