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

List of 13 new Microsoft retail stores across the US and Canada unveiled

microsoft store

Ever since the first Microsoft store opened in 2009, the software giant has been on a steady rollout of retail stores across North America. Microsoft stores are an important strategy in connecting the company directly with the consumer.  With Microsoft controlling the full retail experience, their stores are a wonderful way for consumers to experience the company’s products  and services, as they are displayed in the most effective way and accompanied by knowledgeable and friendly staff.

Microsoft’s store staff are known to be very welcoming and do a fantastic job of explaining the many technologies Microsoft has to offer.

A recent list of job postings unveils the next 13 locations Microsoft plans to open.  Although the exact time of openings are unknown, we can expect to wait a few months.  Here are the new locations.

  • Chinook Centre in Calgary, AB Canada
  • The Streets at Southpoint in Durham, NC
  • Westfield Topanga in Canoga Park, CA (opens September 21st)
  • Baybrook Mall in Friendswood, TX
  • SouthPark in Charlotte, NC
  • Destiny USA in Syracuse, NY
  • NorthPark Center in Dallas, TX
  • Chandler Fashion Center in Chandler, AZ
  • Lakeside Shopping Center in Metairie, LA
  • Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, MD
  • Los Cerritos Center in Cerritos, CA
  • Toronto Eaton Centre in Toronto, ON Canada
  • Woodland Hills Mall, Tulsa, OK

Microsoft will have a total of nine retail stores in Canada (specialty store in Eaton Centre will most likely be replaced by full store), a total of 100 in the United States and one in Puerto Rico.  Adding these locations brings Microsoft Store count to 110, which include specialty as well as full retail stores.

Although Microsoft doesn’t control the 500 Windows Stores at Best Buy, it is still a fantastic showcase of their products, and a critical presence that will help Microsoft in the long run.

Source: WinBeta