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

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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.

Top Rated Comments

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61 months ago
So is this Macrumors or Samrumors?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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61 months 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.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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61 months 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.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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61 months ago
That looks kinda cool. Reminds me of some experience stores I visited in Tokyo.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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61 months 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.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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61 months 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.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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