Microsoft Corp. and Best Buy have announced a strategic partnership to create the Windows Store at Best Buy. Store-within-a-store will launch this summer at more than 600 Best Buy locations in the U.S. and Canada, offering Windows-based PCs, tablets, accessories and support from dedicated, Microsoft-trained staff. The own-brand stores will make it easier for Microsoft and partners to compete against Apple.
Ranging in size from 1500 square feet to 2200 square feet, the Windows Store will be the premier destination for consumers to see, try, compare and purchase a range of products and accessories, including Windows-based tablets and PCs, Windows Phones, Microsoft Office, Xbox, and more. Each store will feature an innovation space highlighting a variety of Windows scenarios across devices; a showcase section with the latest Windows-based PC form factors such as ultrabooks, convertibles, detachables and all-in-ones – including portable devices; and a standalone area featuring Microsoft Surface.
“The Windows Store offers a large-scale, hands-on customer experience that will show customers how Windows and Microsoft devices and services can make it easier for them to work and play. We are pleased to partner with Best Buy in bringing the latest technologies to consumers at scale in a unique environment where they can explore how Microsoft products fit together across entertainment, travel, music and other scenarios,” said Tami Reller, chief marketing officer and chief financial officer of the Windows division at Microsoft.
In addition to the dedicated Microsoft specialists already working across Best Buy locations, the alliance will add more than 1200 Best Buy Microsoft-trained sales associates to create an engaging customer experience at scale. The stores are projected to help Microsoft compete against Apple, which has hundreds of premium retail stores worldwide.
“Best Buy’s chief goal is to serve our customers as only we can, whether they come to us online or in stores. The Windows Store creates the kind of retail destination we all want to shop in, combining great selection, the latest technology, the best service and the lowest prices. What our customers will see in these 600 stores is something totally new and fully in line with our determination to transform Best Buy,” said Jason Bonfig, vice president of computing for Best Buy.
The two companies also will mirror the in-store experience online which will provide updates on store locations, promotions and other information, including joint marketing efforts throughout the year. Windows Store only at Best Buy will roll out from late June through September.