Microsoft confirms it will open a flagship retail store in NYC

NY-DF773_MICROS_G_20140928165044It has been rumored for weeks, but today we get an official confirmation from David Porter, corporate vice president for Microsoft retail stores that the Redmond software company will in fact open its first flagship Microsoft Store right in Manhattan just steps away from the Museum of Modern Art at 677 Fifth Ave.

Microsoft’s Fifth Avenue store has been five years in the making, Microsoft executives said. The company’s NYC store is slated to replace the luxury fashion brand Fendi in the ritzy neighborhood surrounded by luxury brands such as Rolex, Abercrombie & Fitch and Prada to name a few.

Mr. Porter tells The Wall Street Journal “As our first flagship store, it will serve as the centerpiece of our Microsoft Stores experience. This is a goal we’ve had since day one—we were only waiting for the right location. And now we have it.”

Microsoft aims to make the flagship NYC location “much more than just a Microsoft Store,” according to the executive, who adds that the new store will feature “experiential space” for the company to engage its customers but he did not elaborate further. We will just have to wait and see.

Microsoft is currently playing catch up as its main competitor Apple got a head start in the retail world with exclusive locations around the globe. Since 2009, Microsoft has been aggressively pushing to widen its retail presence as the company has opened 104 physical retail stores in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico with plans to open 10 more stores just before the holiday season. The software giant has also opened mini-stores inside of more than 600 Best Buy locations.

Having a flagship store in such a location is very important for Microsoft, it will serve as the brand’s face, and it has the power to change the perception of the company if the retail experience is executed well.  This is a step in the right direction for the company, and continuing this trend in major European cities is crucial  for bringing a positive perception for the Microsoft brand.

Source: The Wall Street Journal Image: Cassandra Giraldo for The Wall Street Journal

Microsoft allegedly opening a large and flashy store in New York next to the Apple Store

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Microsoft has many stores across the US, and they just recently announced another 13 retail locations they plan to open in the US and Canada.  However, there still isn’t a Microsoft store in New York City – believe it or not.

The Ney York Daily news today reported that Microsoft is in negotiations to open their first ever store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.  The exact location would be 677 Fifth Avenue, and it looks to be in a massive 8700-square foot two-storey space.  This space was recently occupied by luxury fashion brand Fendi.

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An interesting part to this location is that this puts the potential Microsoft Store near Apple’s iconic glass cube store on  767 Fifth Avenue. Microsoft isn’t new to this tactic and is known to open stores near its rivals in many instances.

Rent in locations such as these are the priciest in the US, and has been known to top a whopping $3,500 per square foot in recent deals.

Microsoft held a small retail store in Manhattan at the launch of the Surface back in 2012, but it was only a temporary set up.  This time they look to go big, and a flashy location such as this is a fantastic showroom for their products, now that they have a full hardware product line ranging from PC accessories, to smartphones, tablets,  and the Xbox.

Source: The NY Daily News