hhgregg Trying Majap Vignettes, Samsung Sections In Florida Stores

hhgregg is taking a different merchandising tack in the Orlando and Tampa markets.
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hhgregg is taking a different merchandising tack in the Orlando and Tampa markets.

Instead of the “wall-to-wall product stacks” common to big-box chains, the multiregional majap, CE and furniture retailer said it is employing “experiential room settings,” led by Samsung’s Open House in-store display concept for appliances.

The sections, which debuted this past summer at Best Buy, resemble a Samsung trade show exhibit booth, replete with full kitchen suites and an interactive 8-by-7.5-foot touchscreen called Centerstage that lets customers virtually experience Samsung’s white-good line through life-size images and videos.

Showcased products include the manufacturer’s innovative built-in sink washer, WaterWall dishwasher, and FlexDuo ranges.

Select stores will also be updated with a new TV wall showcasing Samsung’s 4K SUHD displays.

“Customers want to be inspired when they are shopping, as if they are leafing through the pages of their favorite home design magazine,” explained hhgregg CEO Dennis May. “They also want the most sophisticated products technology at their fingertips. We think we’ve done both by partnering with Samsung.”

The sales-floor resets coincide with the retailer’s 60th anniversary and are being heralded in their handful of Florida markets as grand reopening events. The company, which has pursued an aggressive nationwide buildout strategy over the last 10 years, is trying to find its footing amid a rapidly changing marketplace. Despite improving sales and traffic trends, net sales slipped 6.6 percent, comps decreased 6.3 percent, and losses, though narrower, were $8.6 million for its first fiscal quarter, ended June 30.

As a result, the chain has put any new store openings on hold while it focuses on turnaround efforts and execs “figure out what the [store] format looks like,” May told the Indianapolis Business Journal.

He also acknowledged in hindsight that the company should have opened 50 of its Fine Lines luxury appliance shops instead of 11, given their double-digit growth

Meanwhile, Best Buy expects to roll out about 225 Samsung Open Houses by the end of the year, CEO Hubert Joly said on a recent earnings call, calling it the largest dedicated in-store display of Samsung appliances in the U.S.

The No. 1 CE chain is also expanding the number of Samsung home theater stores-within-a-store from 500 at launch to 603.

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