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Samsung Experience opens doors in T&T

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Local consumers can look forward to almost immediate access to new innovations from technology-giant Samsung, now that the company has established a Samsung Experience Store at Gulf City, San Fernando. The specialty store, which opens today, will carry Samsung’s full range of products, devices and accessories.



Michelle Alvarez, project manager for the Samsung Experience Store, Latin America, told the T&T Guardian: “We will definitely try to do it the same day. That’s our plan. Whenever we launch a project, we try to do a global launch. If not the same day, the same week, but that’s our plan. “We don’t want people to think of our store as a place where they can just buy a product. It’s about the experience. We want them to go there and interact with the product. They can actually see for themselves how it works and what each product has to offer.”


The new store is the result of a partnership with local distributor, Cell Master. Alvarez would not reveal the cost of setting up the store, but said the initial investment was shared. T&T is the fourth Caribbean territory in which tech giant has opened a select store. The first Samsung Experience Store opened in Aruba in April, followed by stores in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.


It took just under five months to plan and set up the specialty store in T&T. Alvarez was in T&T in August to negotiate terms of use for the space recommended for the store. Jorge Lopez, Samsung’s regional mobile product manager for the Caribbean, said the decision to open a specialty store comes from market research which guides the company to regions where demand for its product showed sustained growth. 


He said the Samsung Experience Store is not about promotions, but rather about teaching and educating customers on purchasing products and making better use of devises. 



“At the store, Samsung representatives will help you make the right decision. For me, it’s an excellent project, because my needs are different from your needs. Maybe the Note 3 will be excellent for me, but not for you. In that case we have the S4, or one of the other models. This is the value aspect that we add in our Samsung Experience Store,” Lopez explained. He said a secret consumer survey showed that the local appetite for Samsung’s products and solutions is insatiable.


Responding to questions about making products more affordable and the potential of such a decision to widen its consumer net, Alvarez said: “Just because it is a Samsung store doesn’t mean it will be premium priced. The prices that we will have will be really competitive in the local market. Whatever you find at another store, you will be able to find it at a competitive price in this store.”


The Caribbean’s contribution to the growth of Samsung has surprised the company’s executives, Lopez said, and T&T and the Dominican Republic are driving the technology giant’s growth in the region. 



“That means the Caribbean business for us is becoming one of our most important business in Latin America. Why is Samsung investing in this store? Because we believe it is a really good market. The market is growing really fast. The people are loving the technology. Samsung’s attractiveness to the consumer was its focus on innovation and understanding consumer needs,” said Lopez.


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