On New York's famous 5th Avenue Microsoft opened its first flagship store with a line of customers that stretched around the block. The store joins more than 100 other retail outlets that have opened in the last 6 years in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico. The company is planning to open a similar flagship store in Sydney in time for the holidays.
While the store will cater to native New Yorkers, Microsoft is also looking to target the large number of tourists who flock to Manhattan and its swanky 5th Avenue stores.
The opportunity to connect with consumers outside of North America I think will be really great here. We have 160 associates that work in the store representing 19 different languages spoken so we think we're well equipped to service that tourist community as well as that local New York community.
The store sells Microsoft products like the new Surface Pro 4 and Lumia smartphones as well as laptops and headphones from other vendors. One difference from its main competition at the Apple Store is that nothing is tethering the products to the tables so customers can get a better idea of weight and form factor. The Microsoft store is just a few blocks south of Apple's flagship store also on 5th Avenue.
For the grand opening Microsoft is planning deals on Surface devices and Xbox One consoles and accessories in addition to a Pitbull concert at Rockefeller Center.
Microsoft said it has been waiting a while to establish a flagship store and 5th Avenue in Manhattan was at the top of its list for potential locations.