Microsoft has confirmed that it will be setting up shop in Manhattan, New York, as it plans to increase its retail presence.
A flagship Microsoft store will open on the prestigious Fifth Avenue, just a few blocks away from the Apple cube store.
Currently the 677 Fifth Avenue location is home to designer brand Fendi, which fits right in to the glitzy surroundings made up of fashion boutiques and department stores.
“As our first flagship store, it will serve as the centerpiece of our Microsoft Stores experience,” said David Porter, corporate vice president for Microsoft retail stores. “This is a goal we’ve had since day one’we were only waiting for the right location. And now we have it.”
The location won’t come cheap for the manufacturer, with Fifth Avenue currently boasting some of Manhattan’s highest rents – the average for a retail store in the area is $2,749 per square foot.
It could prove to be a worthwhile investment for Microsoft as Fifth Avenue is a tourist hotspot, meaning a high volume of shoppers. Additionally, it brings the opportunity to market Microsoft as a fashionable brand – a position currently held by its rival Apple.
It will be interesting to see what shape the actual architecture of the Microsoft store takes. It will have a hard time outdoing the sleek look of the flagship Apple store. Designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the Fifth Avenue Apple Store has a 32 foot exterior made completely out of glass.
The new Microsoft Store will open in 2015 and will house all its major products including Windows PCs, Windows Phones, Xboxes and games and accessories.
David Porter has hinted that the flagship store will also offer “experiential space” for consumers, which we can only decipher as room for events and product testing.
Since 2009, Microsoft has opened a total of 104 retail stores in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico. Th tech giant also teamed up with Best Buy last year to launch 600 mini-stores inside the electronics retailer’s various locations.