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Microsoft (MSFT) continues to grow its retail footprint: the company says it will open 6 new...

Microsoft (MSFT) continues to grow its retail footprint: the company says it will open 6 new stores on Jan. 1 on top of the 51 that have been opened in the U.S. and Canada this year. From all indications, foot traffic at the average Microsoft Store has been well below that of the average Apple Store.
Comments (9)
  • Stone Fox Capital
    , contributor
    Comments (5925) | Send Message
     
    Why exactly would you walk into a MSFT store? Can't you buy the items at other stores already?
    26 Dec 2012, 12:22 PM Reply Like
  • SA Editor Eric Jhonsa
    , contributor
    Comments (763) | Send Message
     
    You can buy Apple products at many retail outlets other than its stores. That doesn't stop people from visiting.
    26 Dec 2012, 12:25 PM Reply Like
  • Yokyok
    , contributor
    Comments (326) | Send Message
     
    apple stores make my skin crawl. zombieland. i'd rather visit the morgue
    26 Dec 2012, 01:58 PM Reply Like
  • Hoopono
    , contributor
    Comments (220) | Send Message
     
    Slow news day. This is an idiotic comparison. Apple stores are full of gadgets and toys. Microsoft stores are there to primari9ly showcase ideas and demonstrate new software concepts and abilities.
    26 Dec 2012, 12:29 PM Reply Like
  • SA Editor Eric Jhonsa
    , contributor
    Comments (763) | Send Message
     
    Really? Last time I visited a Microsoft store, there were plenty of "gadgets and toys" on sale.
    26 Dec 2012, 12:35 PM Reply Like
  • Nealster
    , contributor
    Comments (30) | Send Message
     
    I visited both the Microsoft Store and Apple store over the holidays and agree with this assessment. However, I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that people currently have Apple products on their shopping list and are blindly buying those products. I actually thought the Microsoft store seemed like the more innovative and interesting of the two stores. The Windows 8 touch screens, the Xbox, the new phones, and the Surface tablets all seemed like the next new thing. I think once people have the chance to play around with Windows 8 without the holiday pressure to purchase the Ipad on their list, more people will begin switching over to the more innovative, fresh, and open ecosystem of Windows 8. The expansion of Windows stores across from Apple stores is a great move by Microsoft as their traditional retail channels like Circuit City and Best Buy die off.
    26 Dec 2012, 12:31 PM Reply Like
  • mpevon
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    I think a major reason why the MSFT stores see less foot traffic is that most people associate them with software and not gadgets. Also, people have become accustomed to purchasing this software already installed when they purchase a pc or get it from other outlets such as Best Buy or Amazon. I know from personal experience that when my wife, a MSFT employee, first told me they were opening their own stores my first comment was something like "why would they open a store just to sell Windows and Office?". Apple, on the other hand, is all about the hardware, whether it's IPods, IPads, or their computers.

     

    Think about it, if somebody wanted to purchase a new Apple laptop , an Apple store makes sense. If, however, they wanted a new Dell laptop they probably wouldn't think of going to a MSFT store to check out Windows 8 first. By the same token, if they wanted a new Windows phone they'd probably go to a carrier's store, like Verizon, instead of a MSFT store.

     

    MSFT seems to have caught on to the fact that hardware is they only way they're going to grow the company. Why it took them so long after the success of the Xbox is a mystery but now with the Surface and a rumoured smart phone on the way, it sems like this is the direction they're now heading. Over the next few years, as people start to see them not only as a software company, but also as a company releasing its own cool gadgets, more people will be driven to their stores. Whether or not they can ever compete with the hype of the Apple stores remains to be seen.
    26 Dec 2012, 02:06 PM Reply Like
  • SA Editor Eric Jhonsa
    , contributor
    Comments (763) | Send Message
     
    That's a good point. Don't think it's the only reason for the difference in store traffic, but the perception of MSFT as a software company probably plays a role.
    26 Dec 2012, 03:40 PM Reply Like
  • ewmpsi
    , contributor
    Comments (1426) | Send Message
     
    2013 will see perhaps 3 different Xbox branded devices:

     

    Set top box (subscription based replacement for cable and satellite boxes). Foot traffic to stores would increase to see this displayed and demo’s

     

    High end console (the anticipation of the next gen Xbox is high and the capabilities being proposed are extraordinary). Augmented reality will be best explained by example and stores will make this shine, foot traffic will explode.

     

    Xbox tablet (maybe...maybe not). But clearly gamers would come in to see if it's worth the coin.

     

    Xbox phone (again...maybe...maybe not). But like the tablet, it has the potential to increase traffic due to the popularity of the Xbox brand.

     

    This does not mean they will sell a single unit, but with the decline of retail electronics stores, if you're going to sell electronics, you need to control the experience. Apple excels at this, MS plans to be a quick study; they may fail, but why not try?

     

    I think that foot traffic come next holiday season will be very comparable in 2013 year end between Apple and Microsoft, now as to who will have the highest sales...that's another argument ;-)
    26 Dec 2012, 04:52 PM Reply Like
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