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Friday, March 29, 2013, 08:03 am PT (11:03 am ET)

Best Buy to give Samsung Apple-esque in-store mini-stores

A number of Best Buy stores will soon feature a special section dedicated to showing off tablets, computers, and smartphones from one of the world's top mobile device manufacturers: Apple's chief competitor, Samsung.

best form of flattery

Pictured: The Sydney Samsung Experience Store


Following a path first walked by Apple, Samsung will be getting its own mini-stores inside Best Buy locations, according to Geek.com. Information on what the new Samsung sections of Best Buy's mobile departments will look like is as yet unavailable, but the retailer is said to be preparing a roll-out of Samsung mini-stores in select Best Buy locations in the near future.

The first wave of Samsung stores will be based in high-traffic Best Buy locations and timed to the release of the Samsung's newest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4. Those high-traffic locations will soon receive instructions to remove two aisles next to their mobile departments in order to make way for a new Samsung store.

The mini-stores will feature large, Samsung-specific signage and room to demo a number of Samsung products. In addition to the Galaxy S4, Samsung produces a range of other tablets and mobile computers, so the additional space may well be taken up with those wares. A second wave of mini-stores will spring up later in the year, and eventually every Best Buy store will have its own Samsung store inside.

For Best Buy, the move could help further establish the retailer as a player in the mobile segment and reverse trends that have seen Best Buy struggling as consumers increasingly opt for Internet-based shopping. For Samsung, the mini-stores will get its products in front of more eyes and more-importantly further cement the company as a rival to Apple, the only other device manufacturer with such a significant, exclusive space carved out on the Best Buy show floor.

Samsung has its own retail locations, but they have yet to achieve the foot traffic, profitability, or cultural cachet of Apple's signature stores. A reporter visiting a new Samsung store in Sydney, Australia — located just a block from the Sydney Apple Store — described Samsung's store as "uncannily Apple-esque."