A South Korean tech giant has taken up residence across the Pacific Ocean. Multinational conglomerate Samsung has launched a new flagship store in the heart of the Meatpacking district in Lower Manhattan, according to The Verge. However, this Washington Street boutique location is neither a store nor a factory.
Samsung 837, named after its address, is a “technology playground” for both Samsung and general tech
enthusiasts. However, you will not be able to find anything to purchase within the 55,000-square foot space other than food and drinks from a café.
Aware of the market and current tech climate, Samsung does not seem to be planning on repositioning itself by coming out with a sleek and minimalistic space that vaguely resembles the Apple Store. Then what is this?
837 is the “physical manifestation” of Samsung — a brick-and-mortar branding strategy, according to The Verge.
On the main floor is a large video screen spanning from floor to ceiling that curves down into an amphitheater setup. Crowned as the world’s largest digital display, according to Billboard, this screen rests behind a performance space that hosted Florence and the Machine at the private launch.
According to Billboard, the concept of immersion is a central aspect of 837’s mission. Fitted with reflective tunnels that display images using Samsung screens and a rotating gallery space, 837 is a digital playground.
The second floor of the new flagship offers a change of pace, where visitors and Samsung users can come to for tech support, according to Billboard. This is the closest 837 gets to resembling an Apple Store. The workers are ready to assist with anything from customer support and troubleshooting to cracked screens and battery issues.
It seems as though 837 is not only just a sophisticated playground for the tech-savvy, but also a museum of sorts, according to Billboard. The VR Tunnel and other aspects of 837’s space indicate that Samsung fully intends on using it as a market in which the company can showcase and market its newest and latest gadgets and concepts. Visitors are given the chance to play with both the Galaxy S7 as well as the S7 Edge before its release. Some of the live events that 837 plans on hosting will be open exclusively to Galaxy users.
Your phone is your admission ticket. Now that is what you call incentive.
It seems as though Samsung is really driving home the fact that it is more than just a tech company, more than just Apple’s competitor. A showroom, if anything, more than a retail location, 837 is “a sandbox for collaborators,” as stated by vice president and general manager of the 837 location, Zack Overton.
While the concept of 837 is refreshing and attractive, it all seems a bit gimmicky to me. The potential in terms of how 837 can be used — viewing parties, art showcases and gallery installations — is rousing. Whether this is Samsung’s Hail Mary attempt to rebrand and reposition itself on the market or a genuine attempt at creating a space for creative intellectuals to come together and create, it will be interesting to see all of the events 837 will host.
Will this make me want to trade in my iPhone for a Galaxy? I don’t know, but probably not. While I may not visit for the tech rush, I will certainly hit up 837 for the café.