Samsung’s new 40,000 square foot digital playground in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District is an immersive brand experience like no other. Called “837,” the store, which opened on Monday and is located at 837 Washington Street, does not actually stock merchandise (although customers may make onsite digital purchases). Instead, the massive space is intended to entertain, stimulate, and delight customers by creating shared experiences around cultural passions such as art, film, music and food, providing an interactive introduction to Samsung’s latest products.
The enormous, loft-like space houses a towering three-story digital screen that will be used for film screenings and interactive image displays; a 90-person theater; a rotating gallery space; portable demo kitchens for culinary demonstrations; a customer care concierge similar to Apple’s Genius Bar; a family activity area; a section dedicated to IoT and Samsung’s home appliances; a recording studio; and a cafe.
The space also provides customers with an opportunity to experience Samsung’s latest virtual reality products, including the chance to test out the Gear 4D “roller coaster.”
An emphasis on community through partnerships with Smorgasburg and Stand Coffee as well as a weekly run club that allows individuals to test out the Gear S 2 give the store a distinctly New York flavor.
Perhaps one of the most unique experiences the space currently has to offer is Social Galaxy, a hyper-immersive installation created by acclaimed digital artist Kenzo and technical director Lucas Werthein of Black Egg, an experiential design studio.
The installation incorporates participants’ Instagram accounts, including hashtags and comments, into a reflective visual and audio experience that explores the meaning of social identity from within a mirrored corridor lined with Samsung display panels. We gave our own Instagram the Social Galaxy treatment below.
As more customers do their shopping online, brands will continue to investigate the strategic purpose of the traditional storefront. 8-3-7 represents a cutting-edge experiment in what the new retail experience will look like, and could very well be the new retail standard.