Samsung opens a handful of UK stores, replete with brushed metal tables, in an effort to compete with the heavily branded Apple monopoly.

Think of an Apple store and the image conjured up probably includes wooden tables, a lot of brushed metal computers and glass staircases. There will also be some kind of area you can go to to talk to people who know why your computer isn’t working or when you want to know how to do something.

Now think of Samsung, the technology company. A retail picture may not immediately spring to mind and that is mainly because, in the UK at least, outlets dedicated to the business’s products are extremely thin on the ground. This is changing, and for those wishing to see a state-of-the-art example of what the South Korean firm is doing in retail, look no further than Oxford Street.

Here, just a couple of weeks ago, the brand became a more immediate retail force thanks to its tie-up with Carphone Warehouse. Step inside this store and the first thing that is likely to strike the onlooker is brushed metal and yes, a lot of it is on the machines that are on display. The difference here is that brushed metal tables have been substituted for Apple’s wooden ones. The colour scheme is rather more vivid as well, being a version of Samsung’s deep blue branding, but that’s about it.

Yet if this sounds remarkably similar to Apple, it is not. The mere change of materials for different areas gives this shop a completely different feel and it is on this that brand identities are built.

Samsung has opened a handful of shops featuring this format in locations from Bradford to Bournemouth. If it continues along this path there is a chance that its stores could become as readily identifiable as Apple’s, although this is probably some way off.