If I recall correctly, the New York store was not terribly forthcoming with samples, although I am not positive about that. I think I had my purchases shipped, and they had a gift, which I took with me. I know that one time, a friend got a Malle sample without a purchase, but he's a regular and was likely going to buy that same fragrance.
My impression is that there is a lot of browsing, and therefore they tend not to give out many samples unless there is a purchase, but even then, maybe not so many.
I know that Aedes will load down a shipped purchase with extra samples! Gotta love that.