By now, tales of Samsung’s Q3 sales performance are the stuff of legends, if only for the fact that the Korean conglomerate has been taking some evasive action in recent weeks to try and shake off the dead weight of unsold Galaxy S5 units (among other problems). First it was a pledge to reduce product pipelines followed by a staff shake-up, then a plan to more-or-less terminate some of its original services, and now it seems prime real estate is another expense to cross off the balance sheet.
The Verge is reporting that Samsung has not only closed its flagship Experience Store in London’s Westfield Stratford City shopping centre, but was already in the process of dismantling it as early as the 23rd. A representative from the company confirmed the story to The Verge, explaining that, “We remain fully committed to the operation of the remaining nine Samsung Experience Stores across the UK, and wish to reassure our customers that those stores will not be affected by this decision.”
The now defunct store was the home of some big UK smartphone launches, such as the Galaxy S4 and S5. The Verge also mentions Samsung’s ambitions from earlier this year when it pledged to open 60 new stores across Europe, something that many are now speculating may be called into question given the London closing, not to mention the Q3 performance and decision to terminate laptop sales in Europe (Chromebooks included).
The shuttering of the store comes not even two months after Samsung made news in China by opening a premium flagship store in Beijing, which includes not just products, but also tutorial workshops and more. Given how the Galaxy A3 and A5 hit the China-area first, it’s possible the status of the store will remain unaffected, however only time will tell.
Here in Japan, Samsung has 17 different “Galaxy Shops”, however they are actually “dedicated corners” (pop-up stores if you will) in existing major electronics retailers, as opposed to stand alone entities. Said sections are rather barren in terms of content, consisting of several Galaxy Note Edge, S5 Active, and Gear S devices, the two Galaxy Tab S models, and a handful of accessories. This is largely a result of the company simply having an extremely limited product offering in Japan, though as that may be the case, even these costly ventures could potentially be at risk of closure.
At the very least, Samsung is definitely taking an aggressive, hard-line and quick approach to stem the leak of unnecessary cash expenditures.