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Sony, Samsung will square off with competing 4K-focused Best Buy store-in-store units

Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
May 1, 2014
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If you've been in a Best Buy recently you've certainly noticed a shift in approach from the big box shop of old to what's become a store filled with other stores. Depending on the layout, there's the Apple section, the Microsoft wing, the Samsung nook and most recently a Google endcap, all of which are about to be joined by Sony. Sony's getting back into retail in a big way after announcing plans to close two thirds of its remaining US stores just a few months ago, with "Sony Experience at Best Buy." They're starting with a relatively small rollout at around 350 locations (Samsung launched with 900 or so, Microsoft with 600) in the middle of this month, and like the other arrangements, will cluster Sony's latest products with staff specifically trained on how they work.

Gallery: Sony Experience at Best Buy | 3 Photos

As if that wasn't enough, it turns out Best Buy is also working with Samsung on new in-store placements. While Samsung's current units focus on mobile devices, the new ones rolling out to some 500 or so locations will be all about the manufacturer's TVs and home theater equipment, with "the largest selection of award-winning Curved UHD TVs."

There's a benefit for both sides, as Best Buy (now pitching itself as the ultimate showroom) can offer a hands-on experience that online retailers can't, while Sony / Samsung has a retail presence with less cost and hassle than running its own shops. And you, the customer? If you couldn't make it to CES, then vegging out in front of the latest 4K TV or playing with a PS4 demo should be even easier -- and if they want to bring an Xperia Z2 along we won't argue.

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