Single branded concept stores seem to be all the rage these days, whether you're buying coffee pods or personal computers. Samsung can certainly do a snazzy looking store given its product portfolio, but its Australian store is looking a bit less than stellar. There may be a reason for that -- it doesn't appear to be an official Samsung store at all. Updated: Samsung has confirmed that it's not an officially licensed store.
Giz reader Sunny sent in these shots from within the Burwood Samsung Concept Store; while they're clearly Samsung products, the presentation could use a little work, as could the store layout. Even the accompanying Web site needs work; while it links back to Samsung's main site for product descriptions, its own layout is primitive and contains some very basic spelling errors. I tried calling the store to check its status, but the phone rang out... which isn't exactly a promising sign.
Where it gets murkier is with a simple Whois check; Samsung.com.au is registered to Samsung Australia -- no great shock there -- but samsungstore.com.au is registered to "World Digital Arcade Pty Ltd", who according to the Yellow Pages, operate out of Burwood, the same Sydney suburb as SamsungStore.com.au. To further muddy the image, if you search for a given Samsung product on Samsung's official site in Burwood, the "brand store" never comes up as a search result.
Samsung do operate their own stores in selected countries -- there's a particularly shiny one just near the London 2012 Olympics site, for example -- but with much more pizazz than this. For right now, I wouldn't presume it's official in any way, despite the way the web site has been set up to give that kind of indication. (thanks to Sunny for sending the tip in!)