Oregon-based retailer Computer Stores NW, owners of the regional chain called “The Mac Store,” will open a new retail store just 3 miles from the world headquarters of Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, Washington.

“With the popularity of the iPod, and the resulting growing popularity of the Mac and Apple in general, we thought it was time to see Redmond with a Mac Store in its backyard,” said Kevin Anderson, CEO of Computer Stores NW in a statement. “Despite the presence of Microsoft as a major employer in that area, we know there are many Mac devotees in their ranks, and of course the area has great demographics for the iPod and all its accessories.”

With seven retail/service stores, The Mac Stores is a longtime northwest local Mac devotee hangout, and has become the country’s largest Apple Specialist, a special designation given to Apple-centric outlets that achieve specific goals and guidelines for the reselling of Apple product. For instance, Anderson says, “Any employee who interacts with a customer must become what’s called an Apple Product Professional, which designates that they have been trained and are knowledgeable on the entire line of Apple products.” In addition, the Mac Stores have complete service and repair centers, training facilities called “Mac University,” and an outbound service called “Mac Housecalls.”

Microsoft and Apple have been competing for decades for control of the operating systems that run on desktop computers, and while Microsoft’s Windows has dominated market share, indications are that Apple is making inroads to capture some of that market back, as more people understand and are exposed to the Apple message via the success of the iPod, the world’s most popular MP3 music player.

Anderson laughingly adds that the store will also have a bin of Groucho Marx glasses in the store “for the use of any Microsoft employee who wants to protect his or her identity while shopping in an Apple-based store.”

The new Mac Store will launch Saturday December 17th in the Redmond Town Center, 7501 166th Ave. NE. Redmond, WA 98052 at 9am.

The Mac Store is part of CSNW, a privately owned Northwest-based corporation established in 1974. For over 30 years, The Mac Store has been an exclusive Apple retailer and has seven stores located throughout Oregon and Washington. The Mac Store is the country’s largest Apple Specialist. For more information, visit http://www.themacstore.com

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