NEW YORK — When you walk through the large glass doors and to Microsoft’s Fifth Avenue flagship store, which opens on Monday, you are immediately inundated with Microsoft products.
Directly in front is Surface. On the right is the Xbox One connected to an TV,Â whereas the left side is a segment dedicated to the brand new Surface Book laptop.
Immediately beyond, aÂ Windows Mobile phone station runs together with the wall. Parallel to it at the center of the ground isÂ a sectiondevoted into “prospective” products such as the new Band two fitness tracker and also a developer version of Hololens, the company’s autonomous augmented reality headset, which is prominently displayed although sealed in glass.Â Â Â Â Up above, video walls that are enormous exhibit pictures ofÂ the several apparatus.
Microsoft has more than 100 stores in the U.S. today,Â but unlike earlier shops this is the software powerhouse’s greatest showcase. It is not until you get past the rows of the company equipment that you see the indications of laptops from its Windows partners such as Lenovo, Dell and HP.
“We are very proud of our first-party products and you’re going to see them featured in the front part of the shop, but we don’t need you to just stop in the front of the store.” Says Kelly Soligon director of marketing for Microsoft’s online and retail stores. “So we have got a wonderful assortment of other products both on this floor in addition to on the second floor.”
Contrary to other flagship retail stores Microsoft’s ManhattanÂ location is almost like a mall. The space spans more than 22,000 square feet over five floors. The first two floors are dedicated to showcasing and retail consumer products like telephones, PCs and Xbox, while the third is a business focused “experiential center” built in partnership with Dell. A floor offers the top floor and an employee break room includes an event area to be used for happenings such asÂ Â a Girls Who’s Code seminar.
The displays, bright lights and space produces a vibe, more showroom-y compared to the Best Buy — and all component of the company’s strategy.
“We’ve made this shop to be very inviting and quite honestly. It’s all about customers getting hands on with all the technology and having time and space to play and experience with the products,” states Soligon. “Among the things that we enjoy about being the Microsoft Store and the flagship store is the ability to showcase these goods instantly.”
Comparable to an Apple Store there are no noticeable cash registers or checkout stations from the northeast Ave spot Microsoft is relying largely on mobile point of sales strategies for folks to checkout anywhere around the store. The systems utilized will accept payments including Apple Pay.
Besides the retail divisions Microsoft also has tables on each of the first two floors devoted to an “Answer Desk,” what is considered the organization’s take on Apple’s favorite “Genius Bar”
Like the Genius Bar that you do not need to purchase your PC, Xbox or Windows phone from the Microsoft Store to be able to make the most of the repair and troubleshooting options Microsoft offers. “You purchased your PC at Best Buy and therefore are having trouble with it, we don’t care,” states Soligon. “Bring it here.”
“The majority of our services are actually free,” provides Soligon, “so no matter where you purchased your device, we are pleased to help you with it.”
This includes everything from removing a virus giving your PC a tune-up or showing you how you can take advantage of applications. A few such as fixing a hardware issue like a broken display, will require payment. As with repair services the time it takes to correct a problem will fluctuate depending on its severity.
Of the 160 workers in the shop, Microsoft states 45 will be devoted to the Answer Desk.
Microsoft is taking a steady and slow approach to expanding its retail presence. With the introduction of the New York store on Monday, it is going to haveÂ 113 stores with another flagship shop due to open in Sydney, Australia.
“We clearly would love to be in different nations around the world, but we have to get in and find out from this arrangement and find out how to serve customers in this environment,” states David Porter, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s retail and online shops. “We will get live on October 26 and we will get live on November 12 in Sydney and from there we’ll take it and figure out what should our game plan”
As for why it took so long to open a shop on among the world’s biggest retail stages, Porter says it was just waiting for the right time. “We just wanted to be the best we can be before we arrived up on Fifth Avenue,” says Porter. “We know that it’s a huge stage, we understand the world is going to be seeing and we feel as if we’re up for the opportunity. It’s gont be enjoyable.”