Originally Posted by waybacmac
New York City, and Manhattan specifically, is generally considered to be the financial and business center of the world.
Apple first opened a permanent store in Manhattan in 2002. It now has five stores there.
Microsoft, the premier software and cloud services provider to the enterprise, has 102 stores – none in Manhattan.
As the article states, Microsoft did have a pop-up store in Times Square for a short time. I visited that store and was surprised at how bad it looked and felt as compared to an Apple store and I'm someone who has stated that I don't see the big deal about Apple stores - it's just equipment sitting on top of parsons tables with glass images on the walls. But in comparison, the Microsoft store seemed like a 99 cent store - it seemed cheap and as if it was created for a small company. And of course the products they were showing, which were the early versions of the Surface, were horrible.
Of course the Microsoft store was serving a different purpose - they weren't selling anything in the store.
I do feel like Microsoft is saying, "well Apple is on Fifth Avenue, we need to be on Fifth Avenue". But Microsoft is going to lose a lot of money there, especially if they're on street level, because rents there are at least $500 a square foot and may be $thousands per square foot. Most of the stores on Fifth Avenue (or on upper Madison Avenue) consider the exercise to be a marketing exercise. Apple is an exception because their stores are reputed to generate the highest sales per square foot in the retail industry. (But it is time for Apple to open some stores in the outer boroughs and not rely upon Best Buy for those areas.)
Apple pays less because the store is underground and because they got a deal because it was hard to lease the space.