More Microsoft Stores Means More Surface Showrooms
During the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference last year, COO Kevin Turner said Microsoft planned to open 75 brick-and-mortar storefronts over the next two to three years (see “Microsoft Opens Colorado Retail Store in Wyoming“). Revisiting those comments at the same conference today, Turner said Microsoft will have 44 retail stores by next June — about double the number it has now.
“We’re going to continue to build and roll out more stores,” Turner told Worldwide Partner Conference attendees. “More and more markets around are going to see the Microsoft Store, and this holiday, on the heels of the Windows 8 launch, we’re going to do some holiday pop-up stores throughout. And we’re going to keep going more and more pervasive. And you’ll see the store brand continue to go out and go out into the world with the opportunity we believe we have to tell the Microsoft story.”
A wise move, and one on which the success of the company’s new Surface tablet may well hinge. Recall that Microsoft plans to sell the Surface only through its own retail stores and Microsoft.com. With fewer than two dozen Microsoft Stores in the U.S. right now, consumers curious about Surface will have very, very few locations where they can play with it. And that might improve margins and make inventory and returns easier to manage, but it will inevitably limit sales.
(Image courtesy of Flickr/Rogsil and Microsoft)