Samsung announced Friday that it will be opening three new company-run retail stores in the United States as it gears up to unveil a tenth-anniversary Galaxy lineup on February 20.

These upcoming locations are the first company-run retail stores where customers can actually purchase its devices, not just try them. Some of the products on display will include Samsung’s newest Galaxy smartphones, tablets wearables, 8K TVs and SmartThings devices.

The new stores are launching in Los Angeles, New York and Houston at these locations:

  • The Americana at Brand: 889 Americana Way, Glendale, CA 91210
  • Roosevelt Field on Long Island: 630 Old Country Rd, Garden City, NY 11530
  • The Galleria in Houston: 5085 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77056

In store, people will be able to interact with eye-popping 4D VR (like virtual Titanic rides) and go head-to-head with their friends in a 4K gaming lounge.

Unlike the company’s earlier stores that serve as a showcase for their products (like Samsung 837, based in New York City’s Meatpacking District), these upcoming locations appear to mimic Apple’s approach to retail in terms of interactions and customer support.

The new Samsung Experience Store at the Americana at Brand in Glendale, California.

For starters, not only will shoppers be able to try products, but buy them as well. Additionally, the newest brick-and-mortar stores will include a hands-on area and a walk-in repair service akin to Apple’s Genius Bar where customers can get help and support with their devices.

YH Eom, President & CEO, Samsung Electronics America:

Our new Samsung Experience Stores are spaces to experience and see Samsung technology brought to life, to empower people to do what they never thought was possible before.

We want to build a ‘playground’ for Samsung fans—a place to learn about and try out all of the amazing new products we have to offer.

The stores come as Samsung faces a slowdown in smartphone sales.

Nevertheless, the Galaxy maker appears to be slowly building up its retail presence in the United States. And in doing so, it seems to be borrowing a few pages from Apple’s book.

Samsung will also launch pop-up stores in other malls next month.

The iPhone maker has been investing heavily in expanding its retail presence around the world in the past few years. Under the watchful eye of its outgoing retail boss Angela Ahrendts, Apple has remodeled dozens of its own flagship stores around the design accents which mimic Apple Park completed with sequoia tables, large open spaces, in-store plants, trees and so forth.

Retail chief Angela Ahrendts is departing Apple in April.

As for Samsung, with just a handful of mall stores the company certainly faces an uphill battle against Apple which, for those wondering, operates more than 500 stores around the world.

At any rate, launching its own retail spaces allows the Galaxy maker to have more of a direct link to customers, which is always good for building long-lasting relationships, but it remains to be seen if Samsung will be able to match Apple’s level of support.

What do you think?