It took almost five years, but Microsoft will finally open a retail store in the largest city in the United States. Microsoft's first store in New York City won't be just any retail location, either: It will also take on an "iconic" nearby Apple Store.
"We have signed a lease to open a flagship store at 677 Fifth Avenue in New York City," David Porter, a corporate vice president at the software giant writes in a new post to the Official Microsoft Blog. "As our first flagship store, it will serve as the centerpiece of our Microsoft Stores experience. This is a goal we've had since day one – we were only waiting for the right location. And now we have it."
Microsoft's new flagship store will occupy a space that is currently a Fendi shop. The Wall Street Journal refers to this area of Manhattan as "a high-end retail destination for both tourists and locals." As such, it commands the highest rents in the city, with an average of $2750 per square foot.
Microsoft Store opening in Boston in 2012: I attended this opening and purchased the first computer sold at this location
To justify this heady cost, Microsoft will use the new location as an "experiential space" where it can engage with customers and partners in new and innovative ways. This will be in addition to the usual retail space, of course.
Microsoft's first retail store opened in Scottsdale, Arizona in October 2009, and since then the company has opened over 100 retail store locations in the United States and Canada. It will open 10 more locations in time for this holiday season as well. 80 percent of Americans are within 20 miles of a Microsoft Store, the firm notes.
Microsoft did briefly have a New York City store, but that was only temporary: During the Windows 8 launch in 2012, the firm leased a space right in Times Square.