Insight into Samsung’s strategy for selective distribution

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: Samsung business manager – notebooks, Emmanuele Silanesu, has provided an insight into the Korean supplier’s retail strategy for its new range of notebooks.

It’s been four years since Samsung operated in this market, and Silanesu is determined to change tactics compared with the past and with Samsung’s general strategy in other categories. In what is being called a “soft launch”, Samsung is only distributing the new range of notebooks through four retail organisations, each one chosen to target a specific demographic.

The first retail group is Bing Lee which, though New South Wales-focused, has strong credentials in the Asian community. Samsung dealt directly with Samsung, rather than go through Narta, as it didn’t have the range or broad retail strategy that would make Narta dealings advantageous.

Another Narta member to sell the notebooks will be JB Hi-Fi. Whereas nearly all Bing Lee stores will be selling the Samsung range, only the top 25 JB Hi-Fi stores nationally will have the opportunity. JB Hi-Fi is very appealing to Generation Y, and the stores also operate on a high foot traffic business model, with consumers attracted to the stores’ range of cost-price music CDs.

For the everyday mum and dad crowd, Samsung has gone with the Good Guys – 51 of around 90 stores nationally. These stores are individually owned by franchisees and appeal to working families and the older Generation Xers and Baby Boomers. A very organised and centrally-controlled retail organisation, Samsung is looking to capitalise on the Good Guys’ considerable advertising budget and positive community goodwill.

The last retail organisation to have been hand-picked by Samsung is Myer. Only six of the publicly listed retail group’s stores will carry the range, with the CBD stores in the state capitals being chosen. Silanesu said the appeal of Myer was two-fold: it allows Samsung to tap into Myer’s loyal department store consumer base, and it appealed to the more affluent mums and dads.

In addition to these four retail groups, Samsung notebooks will also be retailed through 20 individually selected specialist computer resellers.

All up, Samsung’s new notebook range will be stocked in around 150 stores nationally. Silanesu said that Samsung wanted to concentrate the retail environment so that he and his team could play an active part in the selling of product.

“We want to visit and train up the staff at the stores,” he said. “It’s a ‘soft launch’ from which we’ll expand out.”

When asked about this outward expansion, Silenesu said that Samsung actually had no intention to move into any other stores or retail groups in the short-to-medium term.

To find out why Harvey Norman was excluded, click here.

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