With electronics on holiday wishlists, Samsung and Apple meet shoppers in stores
Samsung opens an experience store at the Stonebriar Center in Frisco. Target is adding more Apple stores to its stores by Christmas.
It is no coincidence that the two largest smartphone makers, Galaxy and iPhone, are driving consumers to physical stores.
The outlook for 5G phones – the latest iteration of smartphones – is robust this holiday season and the devices top consumers’ electronics wish lists, according to a survey by industry trade group Consumer Technology Association.
In November 2019, American consumers believed their smartphones should reasonably last 4.2 years, and at that time, the average age of a smartphone was just over 2 years, according to the CTA.
But there is something new to buy this year. Samsung released its Galaxy Z Flip 3 and ZFold3 in August, and Apple unveiled its new iPhone 13 lineup in September.
Samsung said its experience stores were a response to shoppers returning to the mall this holiday season. The South Korean company has opened four experience stores so far, including one in the Houston Galleria and one each in major malls in Los Angeles, New York and Palo Alto. It started opening stores just before the pandemic in 2019.
In Stonebriar, the Samsung Experience Store will open on the first level of Fossil’s former 3,800 square foot space. Until that store is ready, likely right after Christmas, the company said it had set up a 10ft by 20ft temporary store anchored by a Ford Wagon in the hallway of the mall near Barnes & Noble. Galaxy smartphones, tablets, smartwatches and foldable headphones will be on display.
Samsung declined to say if this was the start of a more extensive rollout of the store.
While Apple stores have been around for 20 years, Samsung has mostly sold its Galaxy phones directly online, or through major wireless carriers and retailers such as Best Buy and Walmart.
Apple stores began appearing in Target stores in February, including Allen, Hurst, and Irving stores. A second batch of Apple stores will soon open in Rockwall, Arlington, Denton, North Richland Hills, Flower Mound, Frisco and Watauga.
An all-time high 191.3 million U.S. adults plan to buy tech as a gift this holiday season, CTA estimates, but spending in this category will only increase 0.5% from one year ago.
Lots of electronic devices were purchased last year to support work and home schooling. But the pandemic has also “given more time and incentive to discover the many ways technology can improve their lives,” said Lesley Rohrbaugh, director of market research for CTA.
Electronics are on the wish lists of 26% of consumers, according to a buyer survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics for the National Retail Federation.
Industry trade group expects vacation sales to grow 8.5% to 10.5% on top of last year’s 8.3% increase and average increase 4.4% over the past five years.
The five most sought-after tech gifts for adults are:
- Smart phones
- Laptops / Laptops
- Portable devices
- Video game consoles and tablets / e-readers (linked)
Here are the Target stores that will soon have Apple stores:
- 10490 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville, Florida
- 325 N Alafaya Trail, Orlando, Florida
- 7795 SW 40th St., Miami, Florida
- 650 N Congress Ave., Boynton Beach, Florida
- 1201 County Road 581, Wesley Chapel, Florida
- 8151 Dr. Martin Luther King St. N., St. Petersburg, Florida
- 4795 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy., Kissimmee, Florida
- 2199 highway. 36 E., North St. Paul, Minn.
- 18275 Kenrick Ave., Lakeville, Minn.
- 810 County Road 42 W., Burnsville, Minn.
- 708 E Expressway 83, McAllen, Texas
- 850 Steger Towne Road, Rockwall, Texas
- 21515 Tomball Pkwy., Houston, Texas
- 1600 W Arbrook Blvd., Arlington, Texas
- 8532 Davis Blvd., North Richland Hills, Texas
- 5959 Long Prairie Road, Flower Mound, Texas
- 3201 Preston Road, Frisco, Texas
- 8000 Denton Hwy., Watauga, Texas
- 1801 S. Loop 288, Denton, Texas
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