Microsoft plans to counter Apple by building 75 retail stores in 2-3 years

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Microsoft plans to massively expand its retail presence in the U.S. in the next 2 to 3 years, with an aggressive goal of 75 new stores to take on Apple's own retail operations.



The plans are said to be part of the company's effort to expand the "Microsoft story," according to a report Wednesday from Neowin. An accompanying map shows clusters of stores in California, Texas, Florida and the Northeast.



Microsoft gave a presentation at its Worldwide Partner Conference on Wednesday. Currently, the Redmond, Wash., software giant has a total of 11 stores across America, mostly in California, with a new one that just opened in Los Angeles.



"Also shown off during this presentation was that an Apple retailer in Latin America was showing off Apple hardware running Windows 7," the report said. "Microsoft used this to poke fun that Apple makes fantastic hardware but their OS is still behind Windows 7."



Microsoft first announced in early 2009 that the company planned to open new retail stores, in an approach that mimics Apple's own wildly successful retail operations. The company pushed hard with viral marketing buzz, and even poached employees from Apple's retail operations with the promise of pay raises and compensation for moving expenses.







In one instance detailed by AppleInsider, Microsoft was able to court an Apple retail market manager who had recently left the company. That person said they were offered a pay raise and were then allegedly asked to contact employees they had previously worked with at Apple in an effort to recruit them.



Little has been said of Microsoft's retail operations since their debut in 2009, but Wednesday's latest development indicates that the company has high hopes for the future of its brick-and-mortar ventures. The news comes as it was revealed that Apple single-handedly accounted for one fifth of all sales growth by publicly traded American retailers during the first three months of 2011.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 113
    neiltc13neiltc13 Posts: 182member
    A good move. Microsoft is making the best products they ever have right now and I think the only thing that's holding them back is exposure.



    If they can get people into the store and using Windows Phone 7 there's no reason why it can't start gaining the marketshare it deserves. Maybe it will also be easier when the new Xbox 360 UI is released that is similar to Windows Phone 7.
  • Reply 2 of 113
    rtkanertkane Posts: 29member
    Now, 75 is too much, but 324, last time I checked, is a lot more than 75



    /sarcasm
  • Reply 3 of 113
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Microsoft plans to massively expand its retail presence to take in the U.S. in the next 2 to 3 years, with an aggressive goal of 75 new stores to take on Apple's own retail operations. ...



    This sounds absolutely suicidal.



    It's like one of those wacky nonsensical moves that a CEO sometimes makes in desperation just before they are fired and the newer, more reasonable CEO takes over.



    Apple stores sell tons of product and make more money per linear foot of shelf space than almost any other type of store. MS's stores don't even break even. Suicide.



    Is it time to use the "beleaguered" word yet?
  • Reply 4 of 113
    jazzgurujazzguru Posts: 6,435member
    Microsoft is attempting to show us what "life without walls" is like by...building more walls.
  • Reply 5 of 113
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,224member
    The correct headline should be: "Microsoft dreams of plans to counter Apple by wasting money on 75 retail stores in 2-3 years."
  • Reply 6 of 113
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post


    A good move. Microsoft is making the best products they ever have right now and I think the only thing that's holding them back is exposure. ...



    Riiiiiight.



    The biggest problem Microsoft has is that no one has heard of them and their "Windows" product.

  • Reply 7 of 113
    The real headline here is that Microsoft has apparently already moved Lone Tree, Colorado into northern Wyoming. That's really impressive (and was probably much more expensive than building 75 more stores will be).
  • Reply 8 of 113
    porchlandporchland Posts: 478member
    BREAKING: Microsoft has not yet settled on branding for the genius bar area but is considering both "Control Alt Delete" and "Blue Screen of Death."
  • Reply 9 of 113
    I have serious fears for Microsoft expanding retail endeavors when they don't even know where their current stores are geographically. For instance, on the graphic, the Colorado store pin is located in Wyoming.
  • Reply 10 of 113
    stevetimstevetim Posts: 482member
    If they keep their vomit green color I will never go in.
  • Reply 11 of 113
    likekelikeke Posts: 6member
    MeToSoft innovates again!
  • Reply 12 of 113
    d3xterd3xter Posts: 1member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post


    Microsoft is attempting to show us what "life without walls" is like by...building more walls.



    In a world without walls, who needs Windows?
  • Reply 13 of 113
    jazzgurujazzguru Posts: 6,435member
    I'm not sure I follow the reasoning that OS X is "still behind" Windows 7 just because Apple's hard ware can run both operating systems. That doesn't make any sense.
  • Reply 14 of 113
    erikvdoerikvdo Posts: 11member
    I’d really love to see genuine stats on whether or not Microsoft has made any profit from the stores they’ve already opened - above the cost of building and operating them. Of course, that can be a tricky thing to figure out how to measure, so I’d settle for knowing how much revenue the average store brings in, to compare it to the average for an Apple store.



    From all the (admittedly anecdotal) information I’ve seen on the MS Stores, they are typically ghost towns when compared to the neighboring Apple store, which most, if not all, surprisingly seem to have.



    Also, the wording on that map indicates that someone at MS has a poor grasp on grammar. ‘We will accelerate our stores!’ Really? What speed will you accelerate them to? Try to make sure not to run any of them into something valuable.
  • Reply 15 of 113
    citycity Posts: 522member
    Mall rents are down.
  • Reply 16 of 113
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,928member
    So... as Apple moves to sell software exclusively online, Microsoft is moving to open brick and mortar retail stores?



    Yes, I know that Microsoft sells mice, keyboards, and game consoles. So they do have some hardware. But is that enough to base a store on?
  • Reply 17 of 113
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Porchland View Post


    BREAKING: Microsoft has not yet settled on branding for the genius bar area but is considering both "Control Alt Delete" and "Blue Screen of Death."



    I was thinking about the Genius Bar as well. What will they do when they have irate customers show up at the store? Are they going to service their existing Windows etc. customers through the channel. Sounds like a poorly devised plan by a desperate CEO to me!
  • Reply 18 of 113
    ortort Posts: 39member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Porchland View Post


    BREAKING: Microsoft has not yet settled on branding for the genius bar area but is considering both "Control Alt Delete" and "Blue Screen of Death."



    Well, they'll be able to blow through like 100 customers an hour because they will tell each one the same thing... "Nope, that's a hardware problem... NEXT!"



    Seriously though, what does Microsoft actually sell? Xboxs, Mice, and software. Apple at least has dozens of real tangible products, that they create and sell directly. What is going to be in a Microsoft store, rows and rows of software boxes?







    When the Apple store launched a decade ago, Apple REALLY needed a venue to sell its products in a way they could control from top to bottom. Microsoft was EVERYWHERE and Apple was nowhere.



    But mom, it's not fair, when is Kids day????



    EVERY DAY IS KIDS DAY!



    Wah, where is my Microsoft store?



    EVERY STORE IS A MICROSOFT STORE...
  • Reply 19 of 113
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Riiiiiight.



    The biggest problem Microsoft has is that no one has heard of them and their "Windows" product.





    The problem is that they've heard but not seen. They hear Windows Phone 7 and imagine that it's windows on a phone, so naturally they never even ask to see one. The sales staff, having learnt that customers aren't interested, take the WP7 phones off display and stick them under the counter, with the WoW game cards and the hard core porn.



    WP7 is pretty much exactly what a MS smartphone system should look like, it's attractive and technically interesting. It's differentiated from Apple but it's still clean and modern. But none of it matters if consumers imagine it looks like windows 3.1 in your hand.



    Saying all that though I don't expect this to be a huge help for MS. Nobody goes into the Nokia shop in London, in fact I'm not sure it's even still there. The Sony Stores are mostly deserted. MS has even less to offer as a consumer destination.
  • Reply 19 of 113
    Gateway stores here in Dallas: Gone.



    Dell stores here in Dallas: Gone.



    What makes Microsoft think they will succeed where Gateway and Dell failed? Opening stores across from Apple stores does not help them either. Apple has the retail thing down.



    In the Northpark mall in Dallas, there was a Dell store across from the Apple store. The largest number of customers I saw in the Dell store was 3. Yes, three. The Apple store is ALWAYS standing-room-only. It's about the retail experience, and from what I've seen of the Microsoft stores, they don't understand it yet. Even with a former Apple employee, I seriously doubt they'll be able to duplicate the "cool" factor the Apple stores have.
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