Samsung readies “next-generation” store at Stanford mall

New Samsung retail outlet in Palo Alto offers latest phones, tablets, and other advanced gear

By George Avalos

Originally published in the Mercury News

PALO ALTO — Samsung will open its first Bay Area store this week at Stanford’s upscale mall in Palo Alto, a sleek site that the consumer electronics giant describes as its “next-generation” retail outlet.

The 5,000-square-foot retail site is the first Samsung Experience Store in the Bay Area and the company’s fourth in the United States. The new store was scheduled to open on Thursday at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto.

“We are super excited to be in the Bay Area,” said Allister Jones, senior vice president of retail with Samsung Electronics America. “We have a tremendous amount of Galaxy fans in the Bay Area.”

Besides the new Palo Alto store, Samsung had opened Experience stores on Long Island near Manhattan, Glendale near Los Angeles, and Houston.

The new store is expected to represent an evolution from even the prior three Experience outlets, which are all relatively new, according to Samsung.

“This is a next-generation store here in Palo Alto for us,” said Alan Robles, vice president of retail design and development with Samsung Electronics America. “You will see the design of this store start to influence everything that we do at other stores.”

The new Palo Alto store is expected to be stuffed with every type of new phone, tablet, and other Samsung devices, but it also will feature many more kinds of options, including colors, than consumers would ever find at a traditional retail outlet.

Merchandise at Samsung’s new Palo Alto store will be custom-tailored to the interests of the Bay Area consumer, company executives said.

The location of the store places it close to major Samsung research and administrative hubs in Silicon Valley.

Samsung executives believe both the retail operation in Palo Alto and the research and development endeavors at the company’s north San Jose and Mountain View campuses will be enhanced with the potential of close interactions among the company’s local groups.

“We can work very closely with R&D while their products are being developed,” Robles said.

The Palo Alto store is poised to greatly bolster efforts to create products that resonate with consumers.

“Retail still has a very important role to play in the validation of a product,” Jones said.

Despite the presence of an Apple store in the very same shopping mall, Samsung executives insisted the company isn’t worried about any similarities, perceived or real, between the iPhone maker’s store and Samsung’s new retail site.

“This store is our version of Samsung retail,” Jones said. “It has nothing to do with our competition.”

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