Look for more Microsoft Retail Stores to open in the coming year.
Even if you prefer to shop online, the neat thing about brick-and-mortar businesses like Best Buy and the Apple Store is that you can spend some hands-on time with products without dipping into your wallet. Microsoft has come to understand this, and as 2013 flips over, the Redmond outfit will open half a dozen new Retail Store locations of its own, the company announced today.
During a presentation at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference this week, the Redmond software giant revealed big plans to aggressively expand its retail presence by opening scores of retail stores over the next several years. This stores will be located both in the U.S. and abroad as Microsoft looks to expand the "Microsoft story" and counter Apple's brick-and-mortar presence.
Look, no one’s going to claim that Microsoft has really mastered this whole retail thing. That’s not to say they aren’t trying. The software company that recently brought you a Microsoft Store in Arizona, has now stepped it up to a small PC equipped space in Saks Fifth Avenue in New York.
While the spirit of providing free internet access is certainly appreciated, the design is a little awkward. Maybe the low chairs and high tables are by design; a way to get people to move along quickly? There is also an associated twitter stream for the promotion. You can check it out at #holidaywindows. Tweets from the tag are used to populate a screen in the Saks storefront window.
Microsoft may be a bit on the reactive side, but they were smart enough to know some sneaky internet types might try to spam the tag. Sure enough, if you check the tag online you’ll likely see some pro-Mac content. But Microsoft assures us that there are filters in place so only comments in the holiday spirit make it to the actual Saks windows display.
The little software company from Redmond plans to open its second Microsoft Store on October 29 in Mission Viejo, California. The store will open at 10AM and, just like before, will feature live entertainment, this time from the likes of Justin Bieber. Customers can snag free tickets for the 5PM show at the Microsoft Store, which will be given away on a first come, first serve basis.
Microsoft will kick off its retail debut one week prior in Scottsdale, Arizona on the same day that Windows 7 launches. According to an ad in the Arizona Republic newspaper, the first 1,000 visitors will receive gift bags and concert tickets. Ashley Tisdale will be on hand to provide the entertainment.
Microsoft didn't say what else would be in the gift bags, nor is it yet known the company will be also be giving away goodies at its Mission Viejo location.
It's been confirmed; the first Microsoft Store will open this Thursday in Scottsdale, Arizona, and will coincide with the launch of Windows 7.
An ad in the Arizona Republic newspaper urges residents to "Be early" (stores opens at 10AM), as the first 1,000 visitors will receive gift bags and concert tickets. The grand opening will also feature live music with Ashley Tisdale performing in the evening. Hey, at least it's not Miley Cyrus.
"From computers and software to games, music, and phones, once you've found what you're looking for, the Microsoft Store offers services like personal training, technical support, ongoing performance tune-ups -- even extended protection plans to help you get the most out of your experience," Microsoft states in its ad.
It's been a long time coming, but Microsoft said it hopes to finally open its first Retail Store on October 22, the same day Windows 7 launches. And if it doesn't meet that deadline, the Redmond bunch are shooting to have one open at least within a few days of that date, DailyTech reports.
The store in question is located in Scottsdale, Arizona, which means at least initially, Microsoft won't be within a stone's throw from an Apple retail location. Microsoft had previously stated that "there will be scenarios where we have stores in proximity to Apple," but apparently that's a plan for another day.
But while Microsoft and Apple won't be retail neighbors, the Arizona store will be just a few miles away from a Best Buy location. The proximity could prove slightly awkward, considering Best Buy is one of Microsoft's biggest retail partners.
If you live near Scottsdale, AZ or Mission Viejo, CA, you can get a job working for Microsoft and all the bragging rights that go along with it. Or at least you'll probably be eligible for a discount on Microsoft products, since the job openings are for the upcoming first two Microsoft Retail Stores.
"We're looking for new store employees who love technology and teaching and helping others," Microsoft wrote in a 'JobsBlog' post. "In particular, we're looking for people with technical backgrounds who can help customers choose the best Microsoft products and services for their needs and troubleshoot any technical issue they may have."
Several positions are available -- reference the list here - from a part time 'Retail Customer Service Associate' to a full time 'Retail Assistant Store Manager,' and none of them sound as cool as the titles Apple gives its employees ("Genius," "Concierge," "Personal Shopping Assistant").
If you don't live in either of the two areas where openings are available but have waited all your life to hawk Microsoft's wares, just be patient - other store locations will soon follow.
Tough times are ahead for Circuit City. The mega electronics chain plans to close 155 stores and evaluate its options moving forward in a restructuring attempt . As part of the store closings, Circuit City also said it will cut 17 percent of its domestic workforce.
"While management is working diligently to secure the support of its vendors and believes it has maintained good relationships with these important partners," the company said in a statement, "the current mix of terms and credit availability is becoming unmanageable for the company.
The store closures are to take place today, with closing sales to begin on November 5. While disappointing for patrons of the brick and mortar outlet, Circuit City's previous CEO Philip Schoonover warned that it could close stores as part of a turnaround plan.