Samsung’s first official store in Zimbabwe

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Samsung Concept Shop HarareJoina City has freshened up Harare’s shopping scene; it’s good to note that top notch brands like Samsung have landed to serve the local market. Samsung’s aggressive foray into Africa is well documented as it is charging across the continent to address markets that other prominent brands are foolishly ignoring.  Football fanatics (albeit Chelsea F.C fans) should vividly remember the brand’s ads that show up before particular matches, featuring three African master- players. Rather than focusing on the obvious popularity of football as a marketing vehicle, such ads show a perceived respect for African consumers by the brand. It’s only few tech brands that have designed ads specifically for the African market on a continental scale…

We checked out the Samsung concept store at Joina this week. Entering the gadget laden trove we were received by a young sales team that was lively and knowledgeable of the products they were selling. The store is a fusion of white label appliances, entertainment equipment and ICT gadgets. For the sake of relevance our prime focus was on the ICT side of which we found much to gaze upon.

Samsung ShopFor mobile phone fanatics the store offers a range of phones from basic call and SMS enablers to sophisticated smart phones. Expect to find trending models like the Genoa, Galaxy S, Omnia and the Google Nexus S among others. General pricing of the phones was on the upper end of the scale though, for example the Galaxy S i9000 was hedged at US$899 yet a snap survey revealed a market price of between $575 and $700. On the red hot tablet front; Samsung’s Galaxy Tab-an android major-is going for US$1,100. MM Cell link has the Galaxy Tab going at US$740 with free delivery within Harare.

The laptop range was limited to two models with the entry price beginning at $650 for the RV510, this is a gallop ahead of the $550 OK Mart (formerly Makro) is charging for the same model. On the other end of the spectrum, the R540 is hedged at $1,199. The store’s pricing was quite favourable in comparison with local pricing for similar products from competitor brands.

The store only had laser printers available with prices ranging from $259 for a black one, up to $450 for a multi function colour option. Replacement Cartridges are fully available at a blanket price of $100. According to a staffer at the store, they receive new product releases within reach of the South African market as stock arrives from the brand’s mother warehouse there. All products come with a one year warranty; a warranty centre in Graniteside makes this more interesting. While one can hop to Asia or Dubai to by such products, local support has always been a headache when your treasured gizmo starts acting up.

Conclusively the official Samsung Store is a welcome arrival to Zimbabwe as this shows confidence in the market, however justice can be done to the brand by adjusting some of the prices in line with market trends.  Perhaps the location (Joina City) is the culprit where pricing is concerned. It was also surprising to note that the store has been open since November 2010 as we are quite sure a lot of people are not aware of this. While ads have been appearing in the print media for a while, they do not emphasise the fact that the outlet is an official franchise store.

We gather the brand is set to open another store in Borrowdale soon.

Here’s a shot of the Galaxy Tab and Nexus S:

 



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27 Comments

  1. JamesM

    Let’s not kid ourselves folks, Samsung is here to make money attracted by the currency we are trading in, the venerable US$$$. As a linux fan and user I have a keen interest in Android phones, Android being a linux operating system. Given the prices mentioned in this article and prices for similar devices elsewhere in the country, there’s no motive for me developing Zim-centric applications on that popular platform. There simply are no customer numbers to support my endeavors at those prices. What to do?  What to do? Turn to other markets where prices are within reach of a wider customer audience to support my work.
    I would have thought Samsung products, being largely IT products wouldn’t attract duty coming into the country or maybe I was wrong?

    Reply
  2. Clinton Dale Mutambo

    JamesM; l find your comment to be highly enriching! Its great to know that there are developers out there looking forward to build apps. Concerning the pricing yes it is steep however prices are falling and a lot of smartphones are trickling into the country on the grey market. Reporting such ill-advised pricing is part of our mandate to consumers and Zimbabwe at large.

    Zimbabwean entrepreneurs looking to build web and mobile startups should not fool themselves by building local-only startups. The market is simply not mature enough to support their often amazing ideas. Platforms like classifieds.co.zw have succeeded because they are part of a bigger picture (webdev-yoafrica-classifieds-txt). There is an S word for developers/entrepreneurs like you: Scale Scale Scale. Focus on the continent and then the game changes completely. We as TechZim are linking up with developers and influencers across the continent such that our (including you) team effort compounds into a mean machine (divided we fall…). Your hard work will be greatly rewarded if you never forget the magic S.

    I reccomend you read an article l did a few weeks ago: http://www.techzim.co.zw/2011/05/zimbos-stake-your-claim-in-the-startup-goldrush/

    Furthermore we will be hosting a startups and developers event in the near future; please look out for it and inform like minded peers…

    Reply
  3. Macd

     Well done research, but the pricing is a bit steep though for our local markets. People dont own that much to spare for luxuries!

    Reply
  4. ngoni

    I have been to the shop mentioned, the pricing is ridiculous and some of their conditions for you to shop are insane. I once went there to check out the digi-cams and I was told I could not enter with my backpack that carried my laptop, it was clearly marked HP and had nothing but my laptop and powerpack. I even offered for them to search it on my way out but they plainly refused and told me to go leave my laptop elsewhere first then I can shop there. I found this insane, to say the least as I have walked into similar shops with no questions asked about my laptop, one such store i s I-click.
    I just want to tell whoever runs the store that if you are running a gizmo store expect a lot of people carrying their laptops to come to your store and don’t turn them away as they will take their business elsewhere, I eventually bought the digi-cam elsewhere.

    Reply
  5. Giffa

    Those prices are way too high. I think Samsung is being foolish pricing themselves like that. Its almost like there have no plan to popularise their brand.

    Reply
  6. John Oxley

    I feel it is only fair to mention that the Nexus S and Galaxy S are essentially the same phones for $200 difference.  Also, Zimazon have the Galaxy S available for less than $600.
    http://www.zimazon.co.zw/index.php?route=product/product&path=10241_10258_10263&product_id=104261

    One of the most powerful Android phones today is the Motorola Atrix, available on zimazon.co.zw for $790.  It does have over twice the processing power of the Nexus S along with a much better screen.  This really is the ultimate android phone, right now.
    http://www.zimazon.co.zw/index.php?route=product/product&path=10241_10258_10262&product_id=104255

    The Motorola Cliq (http://www.zimazon.co.zw/index.php?route=product/product&path=10241_10258_10262&product_id=104241) is about as cheap as you’re going to get an Android phone for in this country. $190.

    A very nice mid range phone is the Motorola Milestone (http://www.zimazon.co.zw/index.php?route=product/product&path=10241_10258_10262&product_id=104231) for $400.

    Basically what I’m trying to say is the store prices are so high it is stupid.  I would not buy from there at all.  Look around and you’ll get a much better bang for your buck.

    Reply
    1. muzukuru

      Really?? I think you need to lookup the word warranty, when you do, please post a comment cz then you will be making an intelligent contribution not an emotional one. 

      Reply
    2. Karrada

      Zimazon dont have any stock. You order then you receive. At least the samsung store has stock and you can see what you are buying. In General, I dont trust these online stores that have all the TV models made in the whole world on their website, without even a tv to demo. Oh by the way, where can I go to see Zimamzon demo stock?

      Reply
  7. Tafmak3000

    I think SAMSUNG has not opened that store to make profits yet, they are probably operating at a loss at the moment. I think they are just establishing their brand in a young market. Secondly prices will undoubtably be high because companies like this employ some of the most expensive international operating practices so as to ensure the highest quality and consistency  i.e insurance, support, bonded warehousing, courier etc. That is what happens when the mother brand roles up its sleeves and does the distribution itself. Now when you take some of these other distributers who go to Dubai/China buy a handful of devices throw them on a plane/container and sales them for a cheap price without warranty, support or backup what do you expect. Products like this almost always are sold on contract to the average citizens. 

    Reply
    1. Macd

       At the prices they are selling there products, they are making killing profits considering that they are the manufacturers of those products.

      Reply
      1. muzukuru

        Another narrow minded reply from the guy in the server room. Leave real business talk to business people.

        Reply
      2. Macc

        Macd …. They are the official retailers of the Samsung products, they do not manufacture them they sell them, the products are made in South Korea, where when imported duties and taxes are imposed… at-least if you buy at this shop you know the Samsung product you are getting is real not fake unlike with most the product on the grey market and with a full warranty by a certified samsung trained service center.

        Reply
    2. muzukuru

      Pure business brilliance, here is someone who is contributing with all his faculties turned on. Well done!

      Reply
  8. Batman

    @John Oxley, “This really is the ultimate android phone, right now.” The Motorola Atrix? Really?

    There’s a little phone just released called the Samsung Galaxy S2, try googling it and tell me what you think ;)

    Reply
    1. Macd

      On functionality and flexibility l think John Oxley is right. If you are into tech, you can even connect a mouse and keyboard on that Motorola.

      Reply
      1. Robin

        Yeah, I don’t know so much abut the lapdock for the Atrix. It’s not a stand alone device so you have to have the phone plugged into it for it to work. Plus it uses Motorola’s own OS, why not ChromeOS? It is an Android phone after all.

        But the biggest problem with the lapdock is it’s price – $500. You might as well get a tablet PC for that money (you could afford an iPad or a good netbook), you’d still be carrying around the same amount of hardware. It’s a great concept, don’t get me wrong, but in reality it’s just too pricey and lacks enough app support and overall polish.

        Phone vs phone the Galaxy s2’s excellent display, superb camera (both video and stills) and general performance wins it for me any day.

        I think the Atrix is a great phone, but I’ll stick by my Galaxy S2 anyday

        Reply
    2. Karrada

      I think John is plugging his own Business (Zimazon) @066a4b6a6c95f1f3ee1e92d8a8a64bc1:disqus I agree, Zimazon is a Zim rip of the original Amazon. Without even a physical address, where do you go if you have a warranty issue?

      Reply
  9. muzukuru

    This “price is too steep” mentality just shows that some of you here are just NOT cut out for business, you are and wil always be IT people relying on real business peopel to put bread on yo tables. Kufira muserver room chaiko. Cmon guys, these guys have costs that they have to recover and besides their products come with guarantees and warranties, some as long as 2 years, way better deal than your Zhing shops you luv so much. In thsi shop you get first class service not just first class smiles but after sales backup which is alien to Zimbos. You will understand what i mean when you find yoself with aniPad that has broken and you got nowhere to take it.

    Reply
    1. Jaghen45

      What do you mean “NOT cut out for business”? We’re talking about their goods being overpriced – that’s from a consumers perspective.

      I’m happy to pay top dollar for a quality product or service but at the same time that doesn’t mean I’m happy to be ripped off and these guys prices are just ridiculous, especially considering there are cheaper alternatibes out there like Zimazon or even just going through Zim Classifieds. 

      Reply
  10. Cmarisi

    the prices are outragious.l guess varikutengesa nzvimbo.u can find the same 4nes for a reasonable prices at a reputable dealer

    Reply
  11. Sadziwablessing

    i am from Zimbabwe and currently doing my Linux administration in India and i love samsung brands but back home the prices are killing..here i just bought a samsung galaxy note for 626US..thats cheap compared to Zimbabwe’s price where i left a samsung galaxy s2 going for 1.050 in this shop…They need to lower there prices and give us app support too..not to be told that “This service is not available in your country”each and every time we go to their app stores online..nxiii

    Reply
  12. dah

    Iam about to buy a samsung Galaxy Tablet 2. Samsung had a large fan base in Zimbabwe once before in even became an enormous company worldwide. its been try to get back since then. however it must start treating its clients in Zimbabwe better. not dump us like the last time left with noone to fix or products and stop over changing us too.

    Reply

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