Samsung Opens Flagship NYC Store, Calls it 'Immersive Cultural Center'

Samsung yesterday announced the opening of its new flagship store in New York City, describing it as "the flagship of the future", but in a curious twist, one which does not actively sell Samsung products.

Named simply "837" after its address in the popular Meatpacking district, the "living lab and digital playground" is a 55,000 square-foot space that includes a three-story digital screen (made up of 96 Samsung 55-inch TV sets stitched together), a 90-seat theater, a portable demo kitchen, an art gallery, a multimedia studio, and a café. Product shelves however are nowhere to be seen.

Samsung NY flagship store
Samsung 837 in New York's Meatpacking district (Image: Mashable)

According to a Samsung press release, the store sets out to "reimagine the traditional store experience" and provide an opportunity for people to "experience Samsung technology and signature services in an environment that blurs the lines between live and static experiences."

The-Screen-&-Mainstage-at-Samsung-837
The Screen and mainstage (Image: Business Wire)

"It's not about pushing products in people's faces," explained Zach Overton, General Manager of Samsung 837, speaking to Fast Company. Rather, Overton calls it "a fully immersive cultural center, featuring programming which will tap into people's passions such as art, music, entertainment, sports, wellness, culinary, technology and fashion, all powered and enriched by technology."

VR-Tunnel-at-Samsung-837
Visitors wear Samsung's Gear VR in a dedicated VR environment (Image: Business Wire)

Mashable got a sneak preview of the store and describes an area called the Selfie Station, where users are invited to take a photo of themselves with a Samsung smartphone. A few seconds later, that photo is projected onto the huge store screen for everyone to see.

Of particular note is the store's "Black Egg Installation tunnel":
Before you enter the tunnel, you're instructed to enter in your Instagram handle. Then you walk through a tunnel where all of your photos, hashtags and Instagram descriptions are projected against screens that literally cover the entire space. The floor and ceiling are mirrored, giving off a truly sci-fi effect.

The-Living-Room-&-Product-Display-at-Samsung-837
The Living Room and product table (Image: Business Wire)

Despite the company downplaying the retail angle, store staff are available to guide customers through Samsung's online purchasing portal, while in a nod to Apple's Genius Bar concept, on-site technicians are on hand to troubleshoot tech problems.

In the first two weeks of opening, Samsung 837 will be host to exclusive programming including live DJs, Oscar-nominated movie screenings, and a private Oscar viewing party.

Yesterday, Samsung announced the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, the latest devices in its flagship line of smartphones. The phones will be available on all four major U.S. carriers from March 11, although it's unclear when (or whether) visitors to 837 will have the opportunity to test them out in-store.

Tags: Samsung, retail


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27 weeks ago
So is this Macrumors or Samrumors?
Rating: 8 Votes
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27 weeks ago
Already some hate on this thread which is ridiculous. Don't go to the store then if it doesn't appeal to you. Personally, it sounds like a fun experience - regardless of what tech is driving it.
Rating: 4 Votes
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27 weeks ago
Samsung's ridiculously overdone and ultimate self-serving "store" of bufferoonery. What an excessive waste. Apparently it's not enough to sell product by traditional means, so instead, we must stroke and coddle nitwits' whims and egos to push some phones and tablets. Call it experiential selling? I call it a bored company with money to burn. Who cares.
Rating: 4 Votes
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27 weeks ago
That looks kinda cool. Reminds me of some experience stores I visited in Tokyo.
Rating: 3 Votes
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27 weeks ago

Samsung's ridiculously overdone and ultimate self-serving "store" of bufferoonery. What an excessive waste. Apparently it's not enough to sell product by traditional means, so instead, we must stroke and coddle nitwits' whims and egos to push some phones and tablets. Call it experiential selling? I call it a bored company with money to burn. Who cares.


Your comment would make sense of the place didn't also have things like giant displays, kitchen appliances, and mock homes settings inside. From what I've read the phones and tablets are barely there.
Rating: 2 Votes
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27 weeks ago
Apple has Force Touch; Samsung attempts Forced Cool.
Rating: 2 Votes
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27 weeks ago

I think that it takes more than Samsung's phones not copying Apple's style for them to get it. Samsung needs to create a phone that causes Apple to want to steal from Samsung's style in order to have finally gotten it.

One thing that Apple is unbeatable at is marketing. Their ads are the best in the business. Apple Watch Rise ('https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQcFvamzdno'), The Future of Television ('https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OON2bZdqVzs'), and Someday at Christmas ('https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjBZoOs_dXg[/URL') are examples of great recent commercials.


Cool, i hadn't seen any of those ad's, way better than the previous ones which were the worst IMO. But these would be second worst, IMO. Still better than before.

Yeah what your saying is for Samsung to be better than Apple. I'm not arguing that, I'm arguing that they are finally getting their stride, their style and focusing on their customers/what they want to be and what makes them unique. Before they didn't have a clear outline of what they were besides copying, and claiming to be better due to specifications. Now they aren't so much saying it but showing their technology and presenting what they are about in their own way. Similar but different.

What I got from it, was that they finally have their own style. I'm not saying their better and their no ware near done. Your right they have a lot more to do, but its nice that they embraced their own style where it doesn't seem like their trying too hard. Thats what I meant, if that makes any sense.

I mean this all respectfully, from what I'm seeing them do. However I have not gone to these new stores or tried their new products yet.
Rating: 2 Votes
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27 weeks ago

Unless you have actually been there, that's just a knee-jerk reaction.

Sure thing. Douchey and odd like their advertising and overall brand essence. Trying too hard to be natural and cool, but ends up coming across feeling too forced and awkward. That's Samsung.
Rating: 2 Votes
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26 weeks ago

There is nothing that approaches in any way, shape or form the sheer over the top douchiness and oddity of the Apple top brass at a keynote.
Nothing.

I'll give you Eddie Cue presenting at a keynote, for sure! Tim and Craig are generally on point, and Phil never looks completely comfortable… but that's neither here nor there. At least when Apple puts itself out there (keynotes, advertising, retail, etc.), the production value and overall brand proposition feels just and natural. Don't really know how else to put it into words. Apple comes across more polished. When Samsung does the same, even with the best production companies and advertising partners, they come off as campy, cheesy, and trying way too hard too be cool.
Rating: 2 Votes
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27 weeks ago
While I don't think this is going to do a whole lot of Samsung's brand, I do appreciate that they took the time to come up with something new in terms of aesthetics and concept and layout. This doesn't look like an Apple store at all.
Rating: 2 Votes
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