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Best Buy Adding Samsung A/V Shops In Overhaul

MINNEAPOLIS – Best Buy will open Samsung TV and audio shops in 500 stores this year as part of a major revamp of its in-store home-theater presentation.

The shops will join similar Sony Experience sections that will roll out to 350 of the chain’s approximately 1,000 flagship stores.

The branded boutiques will serve as anchors to a completely redesigned video and audio department, which will also feature soundbar and loudspeaker listening stations and a new “grab-and-go” display for TVs 40 inches and smaller.

Like the Sony sections, the Samsung Entertainment Experience areas will showcase the manufacturer’s line of UHD TVs and audio products, including the company’s Shape wireless audio multi-room system. According to Best Buy chief merchandising officer Mike Mohan, the shops “will give consumers access to the largest Samsung curved UHD TV assortment.”

The announcement comes one year after the launch of Samsung mobile boutiques at Best Buy stores chain-wide.

In a statement, Samsung Electronics America president Tim Baxter said, “We understand the importance of the product experience in stores and will continue to work with our retail partners to showcase next-generation technologies through effective merchandising solutions.”

Best Buy president/CEO Hubert Joly has been aggressively pursuing a branded in-shop strategy across his sales floors, including last summer’s rollout of Microsoft departments, in an effort to boost the sales productivity of the real estate and replace fading categories like physical media.

Best Buy said the home-theater remodels will roll out in varying degrees chainwide in the coming months.