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Following Apple, Microsoft to open mini-stores in Best Buy

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Much as the Redmond giant attempted to do with its own dedicated retail locations, Microsoft will now follow Apple's lead in opening mini-stores in Best Buy retail locations across North America.



Microsoft and Best Buy announced the collaboration on Wednesday, noting that it will bring Windows-focused mini-stores to 500 Best Buy locations in the United States and more than 100 Best Buy and Future Shop locations in Canada. The stores will be between 1,500 and 2,200 square feet in size, and they will showcase devices running Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, Microsoft's Xbox products, Windows software, and Microsoft's hardware peripherals.

Microsoft will provide training for more than 1,200 Best Buy sales associates in order to help them better pitch products to customers.

For Microsoft, the move may make it better able to compete against Apple in the new computing paradigm. The company's Windows 8 platform has continued to struggle in the face of a weakening PC market and an exploding mobile device market.

Microsoft has attempted to follow Apple's lead in the past, opening its own retail stores. Those locations, though, have failed to reproduce the considerable success Apple has achieved with its physical locations.

For Best Buy, the new Windows Stores are a continuation of a trend that has seen the retailer reaching out to major electronics brands, getting them to open mini-stores within Best Buy locations in an effort to transform the retailer. Best Buy has struggled to retain relevance in the era of online shopping, and one big problem the retailer faces is "showrooming," wherein customers check out devices within Best Buy before going home to order them online.

Apple was the first company to get its own dedicated mini-stores within Best Buy, with distinctive installations showing off MacBooks, iPads, and iPhones. Samsung has followed suit recently, opening 1,400 mini-stores over the past few months.
post #2 of 42

Soon Best Buy will be like a mall, with many mini stores inside it!

post #3 of 42
Considering that Office, XBox, Windows Phone and Windows PC area ALL already available in Best Buy, what exactly does MS think it is getting out of this deal?
post #4 of 42
Awesome¡

Seriously though, with all the android nerd employees steering people away from the apple section, Samsung and now Microsoft stores I am wondering when apple is going to pull out and allow best buy to slide into total irrelevancy.
post #5 of 42

Loser copycats. Really pathetic. As if their stand alone stores did not give them that distinction.

 

I think they are somewhat afraid of regular consumers and don't know how to market to them.

 

I've just given up on them. I started using Live mail, but it became a hassle to cancel the paid service. Then I had the free 50 GB which they later confiscated and reduced down to 7 GB. I was all ready to give them my money and use them as a cloud service, but they then pulled that cra@p.

 

No more. I have Office 2011, which was "free" through a technology fee for grad school, but that's all I use from them. Basically, they suck.

 

Maybe the X Box is fine, and their mice, but they have lost it when it comes to regular customers...

post #6 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eternal Emperor View Post

Considering that Office, XBox, Windows Phone and Windows PC area ALL already available in Best Buy, what exactly does MS think it is getting out of this deal?


Yes.  I thought that.

 

Perhaps trying to bring more focus on the Windows brand rather than HP/Dell/Toshiba etc.

 

Kind of odd if you ask me.  Rather than there being 20 "PC" brands in the store, of which Apple is one, it's now making it Apple v Windows.

 

Perhaps the Apple desk was getting all the action and they thought the PC area needed some identity to draw people back in?

 

Who knows.  There's not an obvious reason behind it.

post #7 of 42
Having more places to buy irrelevant crap will not make your irrelevant crap sell any faster... It doesn't matter how many ways you try to divide zero, it's still zero.
post #8 of 42
I would think this is more BestBuy recruiting MS rather than the other way around. BB has built too many massive stores that they can't keep operating if the online purchases and showrooming effect keeps building momentum. This could be their way of offloading costs to others.
post #9 of 42
First Samsung copied apple by doing this, now Microsoft. Both Samsung and Microsoft products were all available already. Not all apple products were originally available at best buy. They just want to look fancy, I still can't believe people spend $1,000 on a surface tablet. There are so many better options out there.
post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by tool022611 View Post

There are so many better options out there.

Well, one, at least.
post #11 of 42
Every Bestbuy I have walked into, the Apple store is in the back.

I guess so you can hopefully be distracted into buying some other crap on your walk back!

But walking in and seeing Samscum front and center now, my only thought is to turn around and walk out!
post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eternal Emperor View Post

Considering that Office, XBox, Windows Phone and Windows PC area ALL already available in Best Buy, what exactly does MS think it is getting out of this deal?

yeah....i don't get it either.....they already have a little Xbox display where you can demo games and Kinect games. So they already have a large presence.....Maybe BB is just giving space away as sales decline?

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post #13 of 42

WOW! I can hardly wait!
 

Hmmmmmm...
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Hmmmmmm...
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post #14 of 42
I am guessing that this has more to do with Best Buy needing money from Apple, Samsung and Microsoft (they are probably leasing those companies floor space).

Best Buy trying to stay relevant.
post #15 of 42

It's a smart move by Microsoft. The BB employees really know nothing about the products in their stores. A representative anecdote as an example: I was in a BB store some time ago with a friend who was looking for a new video card for a generic PC. He tried asking some questions of several employees, but none of them had any clue. We finally found one person who actually seemed to know what he was talking about. So, my friend picks the video card he wants, is about to head to the register, realizes he needs something else and asks the guy where it is. The guy we were talking too says he doesn't know, he doesn't work there, he works for Microsoft and is just there for some in-store promotion.

 

Best Buy really is such a horrible place.

post #16 of 42
Yesterday i went to my local beat buy and as i was walking out i saw the Samsung sales guy using his personal phone wish was a....... here it comes a IPHONE!!! i think i only know 1 person with a samsung?
post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eternal Emperor View Post

Considering that Office, XBox, Windows Phone and Windows PC area ALL already available in Best Buy, what exactly does MS think it is getting out of this deal?

This is going back to the day of the 'brand centric' view of marketing.   The difference in a store like bestbuy(target,walmart), is that Apple and Samsung now have dedicated 'blueshirts' who are to grok the entire product line and how they interact.  MS products are just thrown in with the masses... the phone person knows nothing of the Windows 8 integration, the PC person knows 'of' Surface, but couldn't care if you bought a Win8 Surface Pro, or a Lenovo PC XT box.

 

My last trip to the Apple table at BBY was an example of this... I wandered over to the apple 'table' and the expert let me play, then showed me the difference between retina and non-retina iPads, and then when I asked about Airplay enabled speakers, and we flipped Airplay on a MBA, walked over to the Audio section and  he explained how it worked on the internal wifi, and how airprint worked, etc.   

 

When I asked the person in the printer aisle about mac compatibility, she started reading all the boxes.

 

Samsung table... well, they tried to make the same impression as Apple did, but literally had to reboot the phone when I asked how 'image cut and paste' worked.;-)

I was impressed with the Televisions, audio, computers, phones and tablets on display in the Samsung booth (and the marketing mannerisms).   Apple, well, the back of an MBPrd was the primary logo;-)

 

MS wants to show its ecosystem just like samsung and apple... because in the end, it's going to be that interoperability that drives 'stickiness' in a cloud based technology infrastructure... not  'can I run Office on this?'

post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masteric View Post

I am guessing that this has more to do with Best Buy needing money from Apple, Samsung and Microsoft (they are probably leasing those companies floor space).

Best Buy trying to stay relevant.

nope.   this is not leasing, just a more aggressive margin on sales in store (but it's based on volume).  It's all BBY employees selling the stuff.  

 

Note: in Asia, this is the standard model.  Most people buy 'all' their stuff from one comglomerate... and expect to walk into a store and see the 'samsung' section, to include the microwaves, the alarm clocks, the phones, the vacuums, the audio, the TVs, the DVRs, the computers, the phones, stoves, washers, refrigerators, etc).

 

Best Buy is doing this in the appliance section as well... the Wolf/Thermador has a place in my local best buy (nothing there to buy... it's all special order).

post #19 of 42

Isn't 50% of a Best Buy already a Microsoft store? I guess it makes sense, but its going to be difficult for the managers to reorganize the stores since Microsoft products fall under and dominate (shelf space wise) so many categories.

 

Guess Ron Johnson's redesign idea for JCP's floor space wasn't so bad after all. Maybe Best Buy would be wise to scoop him up...

post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by realwarder View Post

Who knows.  There's not an obvious reason behind it.

 

At least partially, it's about controlling the retail narrative. With a store-within-a-store they control the look and the presentation of the products. 

 

If you look at how Apple's store-within-a-store in Best Buy's(essentially a tiny Apple Store) and the Apple product areas within a Microcenter(awful), it's obvious why Apple(and now Microsoft) went through the effort of creating those experiences.

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post #21 of 42
Apple's did the store within a store concept back in the late 90's. Microsoft, Google and Samsung finally figure that one out.

I'
post #22 of 42

Following Samsung, Microsoft to open mini-stores in Best Buy.

 

 

Fixed that for ya.

post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eternal Emperor View Post

Considering that Office, XBox, Windows Phone and Windows PC area ALL already available in Best Buy, what exactly does MS think it is getting out of this deal?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalG View Post

I would think this is more BestBuy recruiting MS rather than the other way around. BB has built too many massive stores that they can't keep operating if the online purchases and showrooming effect keeps building momentum. This could be their way of offloading costs to others.

 

I agree completely. With the financial trouble Best Buy has been having, this move might prevent a few locations from closing, or perhaps only delay the inevitable.

I remember wondering a few years back (maybe more like 7-10 years actually) why a Staples, Office Depot and Office Max were located  (or even needed) within walking distance of each other. Did people seriously need that many office supplies? It's the same case with Best Buy. Their stores sprang up all over the place, along with Circuit City locations, P.C. Richard locations and a few others. It's no wonder Circuit City is gone and Best Buy is trying to afloat following all that over-expansion.

post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoTown View Post

Guess Ron Johnson's redesign idea for JCP's floor space wasn't so bad after all. Maybe Best Buy would be wise to scoop him up...

 

Hmmm!  That would be very interesting...

post #25 of 42

Best Buy is on many people's lists as a company doomed to slide into insolvency (http://betanews.com/2013/05/06/best-buy-is-doomed/, others).  Too many people go to Best Buy to touch and feel products, then go home and order them off of Amazon or another web retailer.   I doubt that having a Microsoft mini-store is going to save them.

post #26 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickf View Post

Loser copycats. Really pathetic. 

 

Well, what are they supposed to do? Ignore the success Apple has had with stand alone stores and the Best Buy store-within-a-store concepts? They can see plain as day how Apple was right. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that jazz.

post #27 of 42

The Microsoft Store experience is so bad that the customer experience at Best Buy is actually an improvement.  I was recently given a Microsoft Surface RT with a gift receipt to the Microsoft Store.  I had no interest in using the product, and I could not in good faith give it to a friend.  I decided to take it in to the Microsoft store with hopes I could find something of interest, maybe some headphones or other accessory I could give away.  

 

I live in NYC and the Microsoft store is essentially a kiosk in the Columbus Circle shopping center.  When I arrived the employees looked as bored as one might expect considering their circumstances.  With 6 employees and not a customer in sight, a few were passing the time browsing IE on some plastic HP laptops which were obviously plugged in to accommodate the fleeting battery life.  I explained I wanted to return the product and asked what my options were.  After carefully calculating the narrow window of time that my return would be valid, they agreed to offer a gift card.  The employee then took out a black sharpie and wrote $543.29 across the face of the card.  At this point I still thought I might leave with something from the store, however, I was disappointed to learn that they only carry subpar PC's, MSFT tablets, and MSFT phones.  

 

I thought, oh well, I'm sure I can find something online...  "excuse me, may I use this card to purchase from Microsoft's online store?"  

 

"No sir, it's only valid at our Microsoft store locations"

 

I'm now invested $543.29 in Microsoft store credit hoping there will someday be something worth buying...  The card also sits on CL, best offer to date is $300.  

post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsharrington View Post

The Microsoft Store experience is so bad that the customer experience at Best Buy is actually an improvement.  I was recently given a Microsoft Surface RT with a gift receipt to the Microsoft Store.  I had no interest in using the product, and I could not in good faith give it to a friend.  I decided to take it in to the Microsoft store with hopes I could find something of interest, maybe some headphones or other accessory I could give away.  

 

I live in NYC and the Microsoft store is essentially a kiosk in the Columbus Circle shopping center.  When I arrived the employees looked as bored as one might expect considering their circumstances.  With 6 employees and not a customer in sight, a few were passing the time browsing IE on some plastic HP laptops which were obviously plugged in to accommodate the fleeting battery life.  I explained I wanted to return the product and asked what my options were.  After carefully calculating the narrow window of time that my return would be valid, they agreed to offer a gift card.  The employee then took out a black sharpie and wrote $543.29 across the face of the card.  At this point I still thought I might leave with something from the store, however, I was disappointed to learn that they only carry subpar PC's, MSFT tablets, and MSFT phones.  

 

I thought, oh well, I'm sure I can find something online...  "excuse me, may I use this card to purchase from Microsoft's online store?"  

 

"No sir, it's only valid at our Microsoft store locations"

 

I'm now invested $543.29 in Microsoft store credit hoping there will someday be something worth buying...  The card also sits on CL, best offer to date is $300.  

First off...the Surface is not even close to an iPad IMHO.......

But as far as your return......did you really expect cash? You did not buy it from them....you did not have a receipt.....you got store credit. Good for you....

All laptops is all stores are hooked up to power while being displayed....even the ones at the Apple stores......They are usually running some sort of promotional presentation while on display.

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post #29 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

First off...the Surface is not even close to an iPad IMHO.......

But as far as your return......did you really expect cash? You did not buy it from them....you did not have a receipt.....you got store credit. Good for you....

All laptops is all stores are hooked up to power while being displayed....even the ones at the Apple stores......They are usually running some sort of promotional presentation while on display.

 

Sorry if I was unclear.  I did not expect cash, although I did have a receipt. (and yes, the tablet was purchased from that very store just days prior)  What I expected, or hoped for, was a better store experience, with a better range of products, and the ability to make a purchase online with a Microsoft Gift card. 

 

I mentioned the HP laptops being plugged in because it looked tacky to see employees browsing the internet on dated pc's running an old OS. (I wasn't surprised to see this, but I would think that MSFT would at least have them using Windows 8 on better computers)

 

Generally, my point is that the store experience at MSFT is not a good one.  I don't think even the most hardcore MSFT fans would say it's a positive experience.  

 

post #30 of 42

The thing is that Microsoft simply doesn't understand why Apple products are so popular and why their stores are so packed.

 

Therefore I believe those isles will fail the same way Microsoft retail stores did.

 

For Microsoft to become successful, they have to realise that some of their brands, especially those starting with a "W" are considered rather toxic, that Microsoft in itself is not considered as "cool" but as "corporate" by most people and that throwing some bright coloured polo shirts at people doesn't change that, they also have to learn that most of their products are lacking, their long term support is lacking, their user experience is often a disaster and most importantly: average consumers most likely don't care at all about running Powerpoint on a tablet.

post #31 of 42
I still see more customers at the Apple mini-store in BB than in their other entire computer section. There have been zero customers at the rather stunning Samsung mini-store the last 2 times I was there. BB said they were going to go boutique sometime ago, so this is no real revelation. The sad part is that (as usual), Microsoft can't come up with an original concept to save their lives. Like so many other competitors of Apple, it's just more "we'll do what they're doing".

I think pulling out of BB would be a tremendous mistake. You don't run from the competition, you compete!
post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsharrington View Post

 

Sorry if I was unclear.  I did not expect cash, although I did have a receipt. (and yes, the tablet was purchased from that very store just days prior)  What I expected, or hoped for, was a better store experience, with a better range of products, and the ability to make a purchase online with a Microsoft Gift card. 

 

I mentioned the HP laptops being plugged in because it looked tacky to see employees browsing the internet on dated pc's running an old OS. (I wasn't surprised to see this, but I would think that MSFT would at least have them using Windows 8 on better computers)

 

Generally, my point is that the store experience at MSFT is not a good one.  I don't think even the most hardcore MSFT fans would say it's a positive experience.  

 

i am with you...you did not get a very good experience at the MS kiosk.......

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post #33 of 42

I can see the customer rush now: Duhuuurr... does Windows 8 run on my Zune?

post #34 of 42

So Best Buy is becoming a sea populated with islands of Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and who else?

post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by iaeen View Post

Awesome¡

Seriously though, with all the android nerd employees steering people away from the apple section, Samsung and now Microsoft stores I am wondering when apple is going to pull out and allow best buy to slide into total irrelevancy.

Exactly!

I'm now waiting for Microsoft to decide their next desk top OS will be called 'Redmond'
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post #36 of 42
I'm sorry, but who the **** is clamoring for this? Their stores, and recent products, have been an absolute failure.
post #37 of 42

Hell... I thought the parts of Best Buy outside of the Apple kiosk was the Microsoft store.

post #38 of 42
I'd suggest that the only way the Microsoft kiosks will get any traffic is if they're located in the restrooms. People have to go to the restroom...
post #39 of 42
There goes another row or two of movies...
post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


I'm now waiting for Microsoft to decide their next desk top OS will be called 'Redmond'

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