While the jury is still out somewhat
on how successful the Windows 8
and Windows Phone 8 platforms will be, Microsoft
is apparently confident enough that it’s planning to open more retail stores in 2013.
Microsoft is starting off the year by opening a half-dozen new locations, in San Antonio, Miami, Beachwood (Ohio), San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and St, Louis. These will join the 51 other stores that Microsoft opened throughout 2012, including in several Canadian locales.
Some of those stores have been “specialty” outlets, and many will be either expanded or transitioned into stores that carry a full line of Microsoft products.
Microsoft has deep pockets, so the brick and mortar investment is not likely a make-or-break venture, but the company is putting a large amount of capital into the retail store gamble. It’s not a bad idea, really--have store locations both keeps your company and brand in people’s minds and also gives customers the chance to physically touch and interact with items such as the Surface
It’s also not a bad idea to use top-notch customer service to secure some repeat customers, which Microsoft is apparently trying to do. “We know our store associates are making an impact when our customers continually express appreciation for how our stores offer the opportunity to interact with Microsoft products that improve the way they live, work and play”, said Microsoft’s Jonathan Adashek in a blog post.
Apple has found success with its retail outlets; it will be interesting to see if Microsoft can come close to replicating that.