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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41


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

  • Reply 2 of 41
    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?
  • Reply 3 of 41
    iaeeniaeen Posts: 588member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 41


    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 [email protected]


     


    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...

  • Reply 5 of 41

    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.

  • Reply 6 of 41
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,331member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 41
    originalgoriginalg Posts: 381member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 41
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 41
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    tool022611 wrote: »
    There are so many better options out there.

    Well, one, at least.
  • Reply 10 of 41
    macartmacart Posts: 78member
    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!
  • Reply 11 of 41
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member

    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?

  • Reply 12 of 41


    WOW! I can hardly wait!

     

  • Reply 13 of 41
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 41
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,570member


    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.

  • Reply 15 of 41
    jpvnjpvn Posts: 40member
    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?
  • Reply 16 of 41

    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?'

  • Reply 17 of 41
    theothergeofftheothergeoff Posts: 2,081member

    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).

  • Reply 18 of 41
    notownnotown Posts: 39member


    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...

  • Reply 19 of 41

    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.

  • Reply 20 of 41
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    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'
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