Microsoft ready to take on Apple with 75 more retail stores

“Microsoft’s clearly done testing the retail waters. It’s ready to dive in head first according to COO Kevin Turner who recently showed attendees of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference the company’s retail expansion plan,” Matt Burns reports for TechCrunch.

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“The plan is to open an additional 75 retail brick & mortar locations over the next two to three years. That’s a massive uptick from the 11 Microsoft Stores opened over the last two years. Get ready. The Microsoft vs Apple battle is about to come to a mall near you,” Burns reports. “The smart money is on Apple, though.”

MacDailyNews Take: Come on, Balmy, go for 175, at least! (This bigger the mess, the more the next poor bastard CEO will have to clean up.)

Burns reports, “Microsoft is going to lag behind the sheer number of Apple Store locations for sometime if not forever.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For as long as it takes!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz,” “Winston,” “Manny S.,” and “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]

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Apple’s retail juggernaut is magical and revolutionary in its own right – May 25, 2011
Apple Retail Stores hit 10th anniversary (with video of Steve Jobs’ tour of 1st store) – May 18, 2011
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78 Comments

    1. My bet’s on 5 years, since most retail leases would likely be at least that long. I don’t see Microsoft closing up stores and still paying for empty space. They would never admit in 2 years that their stores were a failure, even if they are complete busts.

      1. You totally missed the joke in Spade’s comment. That is a quote, verbatim from Michael Dell when Apple announced plans to start opening retail stores 10 years ago.

    2. Microsoft’s venture into imitating the Apple stores is like letting money burns a hole in its pocket. Microsoft is throwing good money after a bad idea of doing something that it is so totally clueless about.

  1. It’s actually a good time for Microsoft to try the expansion because lease rates are very low right now. Many mall owners are giving quite the concessions to get major, name-brand retailers to sign leases and fill up empty space.

    However, I don’t know how much retail traffic a Microsoft store brings, certainly nowhere near as much as an Apple store. But any traffic (plus rent payments) is better than an empty storefront.

      1. I visited my first Microsoft Store (in the Mall of America) a few week ago when I was in Minneapolis. It was like a Bizarro Apple Store (even faces the Apple Store). I counted the patrons and staff in the store about 38. I then counted the Apple Store’s population, 84.

        Even 45% of the walkthrough traffic is more than enough for Microsoft to be profitable with their stores (especially when compared to many of boutique stores having maybe 2-3 customers inside), but with less traffic and less margin there is no way Microsoft could make more than 20% of what Apple makes per square foot (which is still a nice number).

        I used to have a retail storefront. I’d’ve killed to have 1/2 of 1% of what Apple makes per square foot in a typical store.

  2. I hardly see few people in Microsoft Store at Lenox Square Mall in Atlanta, while the Apple Store in the same Mall is always full. Why is Microsoft opening more store?

    1. “I hardly see few people”

      Is that some sort of Southenrism I’m not aware of? I know they speak a different form of English in Georgia, but I didn’t realize it extended to the written language.

        1. Spelling fail on snarky grammer comment? Wow.

          And yes, it is a “southernism”, or as we call it a “superiorism”.

          Did you know that there were free blacks fighting on the side of the south in the Civil war? And that Lincoln made slaves fight on the side of the north? Including scottish immigrants, right off the boat. Imagine that “come to the land of the free, now that you’re here, go die to oppress the other half.”

          1. So…you agree that oppression is a bad thing?

            “Did you know allied troops did really bad things to German civilians in WW 2?”

            True. Also irrelevant to the bigger picture.

  3. MS plans are crazy!!!

    In Fashion Valley in San Diego, I passed MS’s store which had three people in it, of which two were employees. This was at 12:00 noon.

    One minute later, I walked into the Apple Store, and there must have been 50-65 customers there. No exaggeration.

    Who ever is authorizing 75 MS stores to be added, should have their head examined. Is this person thinking sales will increase by adding more stores?

    CRAZY!!!

    1. in my neck of the mid-atlantic woods we’ve got a Westfield owned mall with a Sony store a Bose store and a Brookstone …….ALL PERPETUALLY EMPTY. The Apppe store in this same mall…Its like walking through Times Square–PACKED ALL THE TIME.

      oddly enough I’m always able to go in get what I need and walk right back out. one day I’m gonna actually pay for my apple loot.
      Just kidding………….I’m not gonna pay

    2. Because Microsoft is greedy. I guess 90+% of the OS market isn’t enough! After reading this ( as much as Google is now the new enemy) I hope their Chrome OS takes off. I hope Google opens stores in malls right next to Microsoft. Gee, Microsoft having your product in every store isn’t enough?

    3. Easiest (and most boring) retail job on the planet. If I worked there, I’d just play online games all day to look busy. It’s not like I’d have to worry about theft.

  4. Yes Balmy, go for 750, at least! This year!!! If you build them they will buy your virus infected old school crap.

    Those idiots must be hiding the reality about the stores from Balmer. Delusional idiots.

  5. Microsoft is opening a store for the Denver suburb of Lone Tree, but Microsoft’s map shows it in central Wyoming. Now we get to see if Microsoft’s Denver customers are dedicated enough to make the all-day trek.

  6. 11? Wow, I didn’t know there were that many now.

    Microsoft is deluded and thinks “Microsoft” is a positive brand. These stores would have a better chance if they had a name that did not include “Microsoft” in it. Call it “Xshop,” or something. They can still be used to “promote” Microsoft’s products (if that possible), but people would not intentionally avoid them just because they don’t want to walk into something called the “Microsoft Store.”

    (On a related note, Windows Phone 7 would have a better chance if it’s name did not have “Windows” in it.)

    Microsoft’s “partners” seem to be getting the message, though. I’ve noticed FEWER marketing campaigns recently that say things like “powered by Microsoft” (as if that was a big deal and a positive message). Just acknowledging that their product runs Microsoft software is no longer a popular move.

    1. The Microsoft name is not dead yet.

      We might be a more highly-evolved form of life, but many of the unwashed masses still pray at the alter of Bill (mostly out of ignorance).

      While things are changing, and changing more quickly than I anticipated, it will still be years–not many, but years nonetheless–before the MS name tastes as horrible as it should to the majority of people. In the meantime, there is still money to be made from leveraging the Microsoft name.

      That being said, I still think that opening this many stores in this timeframe is bordering on the indictably stupid. Their stores are not doing well as it is. Opening more will not help them improve that performance.

      Besides, other than Windows, Office, and Xbox, what do they even have to sell? Gamestop beats the pants off of everyone in gaming sales and support (at least in the US). And there is no advantage to buying Windows or Office at the MS store; it’s the same price as anywhere else, and the service is generally better elsewhere. So that leaves Windows Phone 7… Is that enough to sustain this kind of mass grand-opening? Um, no…

      The only advantage to having these stores open is that they can offer one-on-one tech support to the mindless drones who buy their refuse. And it’s a good thing, because they all will need it.

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