Microsoft Opens NYC Store, Promoting Surface Book and Pro 4
Redmond is going where it has never gone before -- to the heart of New York City with a flagship store at Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street. The five-floor, 22,369-square-foot store has been in the works for more than six years, adding to Microsoft’s 110-plus retail locations and offering new interactive experiences that aim to sell consumers on its products.
The Manhattan store is Microsoft’s largest to date. And the timing is certainly strategic. The Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 go on sale today and Halo 5: Guardians goes on sale tomorrow. Reports signal heavy lines at the new store, perhaps incentivized by the company's promise that the first 1,000 people to enter the location will get free tickets to a concert featuring Pitbull at Rockefeller Center.
The Microsoft flagship store will focus heavily on promoting Windows 10 experiences, from the new Surface, Lumia and Microsoft Band devices to the Signature Edition PCs, Xbox One, Office, and plenty of accessories. Taking a page from the Apple Store, Microsoft associates are on hand to help customers navigate new purchase set ups.
Video Drives the Experience
The Microsoft flagship store features an Answer Desk, which is essentially a counter where customers can get answers to technical questions, troubleshoot repairs on any device no matter where it was purchased, get a Windows 10 assessment, device diagnostics, software repair, virus or malware removal, PC tune-ups and other services.
The Manhattan location boasts the largest theater space of any Microsoft store. In the theater, customers can get tips from Microsoft experts on how to use new and popular products. The Community Theater hosts a large plasma touchscreen running Windows. Beyond training sessions, the space also hosts activities for local community groups.
Making a huge splash, high-definition video walls and digital signage stream videos, images and information in key areas of the store. Visitors can see the two-story video well behind the Answer Desk on either of the two floors and play Xbox One on video walls with surround sound.
Dell Gets a Nod
Finally, the Culture Wall displays digital imagery that represents the culture of the Fifth Avenue shopping district. The exterior wall, part of Microsoft’s vision of becoming a key player in the community, will showcase noncommercial, artistic images that will complement the architecture and facade of the building.
Microsoft’s Fifth Avenue store will also include The Dell Experience at the Microsoft Store. Located on the third floor, the Dell Experience gives customers the chance to check out a full line of Dell products, including the XPS, Inspiron and Precision lines of end-user computing and Alienware gaming products, running Microsoft technologies.
Microsoft opened its first store in 2009 and has steadily expanded its retail footprint and online strategy to serve more than 1 billion customers through the company's community-based retail strategy. Today, more than 80 percent of Americans live within 20 miles of a Microsoft store, with more than 110 stores across the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada, as well as online stores operating in 189 countries, the company said.