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Samsung to challenge Apple with 60 European stores with Carphone Warehouse

30 January 2014

Samsung plans to open 60 standalone stores across Europe in partnership with  independent mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse, mounting a direct challenge to Apple.

The outlets, fitted out with white and blue interiors, would sell the full computing range of the company from laptops to tablets, phones and smart watches.

Between 10 and 15 shops would be expected to be in the UK, while the rest would be in Ireland, Germany, Portugal, Sweden, the Netherlands and Spain (where there were already three pilot sports).

The stores would be rolled out over the next three months and would sell the full range of mobiles, tablets, laptops and wearable devices from the company.

"Shoppers can expect an exciting new customer experience which merges retail and technology innovations such as Carphone Warehouse's assisted sales tool and connectivity platform using Samsung branded tablets," said Samsung in a statement.

The announcement comes after the company opened three stores in Spain last year.

According to commentators, the Samsung outlets, which would open in April, would help the South Korean group gain a presence in Europe in the next three months that could challenge Apple.

Apple has 98 wholly-owned outlets in eight European countries, with 37 in the UK.

Samsung had promised Carphone Warehouse a 60-per cent share of its shops across Europe, which suggested that more outlets could be on their way say commentators.

According to Andrew Harrison, chief executive of Carphone, this was an important alliance that  would create a powerful new retail concept, with a wide range of products, content and services and would create investment and new jobs in the retail sector.

Apple's stores attracted around 114 million people during the December quarter, which equated to almost 21,000 visitors a store a week.

According to analysts, Samsung stores would also attract a healthy number, and believe they would generate profits of 10 million a year within two years for Carphone after the cost of the refits had been absorbed.

Samsung already operates 1,400 'Experience Stores' in the US, which are essentially Samsung kiosks inside Best Buy stores, offering 'Samsung Smart Service', with dedicated 'Samsung Experience consultants' and Best Buy sales assistants helping customers make their purchase and activate their mobile products.

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