In what appears to be a move to bolster its brand image, Microsoft has opened up its massive flagship store at the famed Fifth Avenue in New York City. The five floor, 22,270 sqft store is apparently the company’s largest compared to its other 113 retail stores opened till date.
“We have a mandate towards exposure. We are trying to be a showcase for the brand,” said David McAughan, COO for Microsoft retail and online stores.
The store space has been designed in a way that encourage users to touch and try the devices. As none of the devices, be it a laptop or a smartphone in the store are tethered to tables, allowing users to pick any device they find interesting and get a better feel for it. There are also knolled tables kept besides stools where users can get comfortable and just get to work. While the wood used in tables and floors gives the entire store space a feeling of warmth and ease.
“For us it’s about sitting down and educating you, It’s very similar to test driving a car. It’s one of the reasons they’re so keen to get you into a car; once you do, you’ll fall in love with it. We want to get deep into that conversation of what it’s capable of, why this would work in whatever use you need.” adds McAughan.
The first floor gets decked with LED light panels on the sides, with the company’s latest products lying out there for customers to get their hands-on experience. There’s also space at the front of store visible to onlookers, where customers can play Xbox games on an 84-inch monitor.
While the second also floor also gets a large area for playing Xbox games and a community theater, where community developers stream 70 hours of the workshop during a week. On the third, we have an extended selection of Dell products, an area called the “Dell Experience at the Microsoft store.” And finally the fourth and fifth floors are mostly concerned with back store operations along with space for employees, meetings and events.
The new flagship will certainly help Microsoft push its brand image, and as the company says, its “a physical manifestation of the brand.”