As a potential Electrolux/GE giant emerges to face off against Asian whitegoods competitors, Samsung has demonstrated that it will aggressively shore up US market share by teaming up with Best Buy.

Samsung will build a dedicated in-store appliances shop which Best Buys will leverage to revitalize its sales floors and share the cost of showroom space.

The new department, dubbed “Samsung Open House,” showcases the topwhitegoods launches from CES 2015 with the aid of floor models, specially-trained Blue Shirts, and an 85-inch, interactive touchscreen display.

The Australian industry will recall a similar foray by Samsung when it built an appliance concept store inside Bing Lee Rhodes in 2013(see image below). This comprised a large section of the whitegoods area at the rear of the store, covering more than 90 square metres. The display was fitted out with fully functioning appliances and also included areas to sit with sales staff and learn more about the appliances via information provided on display tablets.

Samsung has built an appliance concept store inside Bing Lee Rhodes.

Samsung has built an appliance concept store inside Bing Lee Rhodes.

The US Best Buy in-store shops began appearing in Chicago and Minneapolis in early June and are rolling out to other select markets, including Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, Texas, and Union, N.J., through the balance of the year. The total number of installations has been estimated at around 200.

Best Buy’s appliances senior VP Kevin Balon explained, “Technology has become a major part of appliances, and the Samsung Open House will give customers a first-hand view of the amazing innovation in these products. By showcasing top-of-the-line appliances and letting consumers interact virtually … we will assure our customers they are getting products that fit their needs the best.”

Washer has built-in sink

Featured products include the Flex Duo dual-door oven with two independent cooking cavities; the counter-depth four-door Flex refrigerator with a compartment that can serve as a freezer or fridge; the WaterWall Dishwasher, a 2014 introduction that uses a sweeping vs. spraying water motion; the activewash topload washer with built-in sink; and the Powerbot VR9000 robotic vacuum cleaner.

Samsung’s complete appliance portfolio can be accessed via the life-size “CenterStage” display, which provides an interactive virtual tour of the product line with photos, videos and custom features, Best Buy said.

Samsung’s home appliance senior VP/general manager, John Herrington, told US media that the displays “are fun, educational and allow shoppers to see their appliances in different settings.”

Largest Samsung display in the country

The partners said the Open House areas represent the largest dedicated in-store branded display of Samsung appliances in the country. They are designed to streamline the purchasing process and “inspire consumers to explore and engage with the latest Samsung innovations, helping them make an informed buying decision,” the companies said.

The new sections represent Best Buy’s third series of Samsung-branded Experience Shops following the debut of mobile departments in 2013 and home theatre areas last year.

Samsung’s home appliance business is under pressure from Seoul to boost US market share from its fifth position behind Whirlpool, GE, Kenmore and LG, as Samsung Electronics Electronics president/CEO B.K. Yoon pushes to become the world’s largest whitegoods maker by revenue.