Next week marks the one-year anniversary of Samsung 837, a modular marketing center in New York City that has emerged as a mecca for visionary leaders in technology and celebrated cultural occasions. Named for its location at 837 Washington Street in the Meatpacking District, the three-story, 55,000-square-foot flagship store was founded as an “experiential hub” that hosts special events and fosters creative talent in the technology niche. Samsung 837 has accommodated more than 400 events since its inception.
Touted as a venue “where technology and culture collide,” Samsung 837 partners with a wide range of brands in art, culinary, fashion, entertainment, music, sports, technology and wellness sectors to create collective, highly personalized experiences powered by Samsung products. An immersive event space, Samsung 837 is not a retail store; in lieu of shopping is the chance to liberally experiment with products, some of which have yet to be released to the public. Ranging from boat races and roller-coaster rides through virtual reality chairs to capturing “infinite selfies” operated by a 360-degree camera in a mirror-lined capsule, the experiences are designed to offer a high level of interactivity.
Zach Overton, the vice president and general manager of Samsung 837, seized the opportunity to integrate enticing experiences with futuristic technology. A Gilt Groupe alum whose background is rooted in theater, Overton is no stranger to putting on a performance. “The space becomes a living, breathing organism and a living lab for us to experiment on all sorts of different things,” Overton said. “Not only do we feel that this is the future of retail, but we feel it changes the dynamic of how visitors engage with our products and our staff.”
Highlights of the past year include an impromptu street concert by Gwen Stefani and a weeklong takeover for Netflix’s original series “Stranger Things,” which transformed the setting into an 1980s themed “binge-fest” complete with the show’s signature colored Christmas lights and projected images of its Demogorgon monster coming through the walls, animated by Samsung’s technology.
Or Kith’s first-ever fashion show, when the space was designed to reflect the brand’s three retail spaces in Aspen, Miami and New York by featuring a giant backdrop of a mountain environment on the three-story Main Stage screen, a VR beach experience and a city theme in the Social Galaxy, a tunnel that loads the content of its participants’ Instagram accounts on infinite screens as they amble through.
Synergistic brand collaboration is at the heart of success for Samsung 837’s “retail-tainment.”
“We truly believe that it needs to be a 1+1=3 equation, that we plus the other brand or talent can do something together that neither of us would be able to do alone,” Overton added.