Microsoft opened up its first Microsoft Store retail location in 2009 and this week, the company revealed that over 15 million people have come into their stores since then. The 30th permanent retail store opened its doors on Thursday in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In a press release, Jonathan Adashek, Microsoft's general manager of Communications Strategy, said that these stores, along with the 34 temporary Microsoft Store locations that were opened on October 26th, actually help Microsoft get quick feedback on its products. He states, "Having this direct connection to our customers has really helped us better understand their tech needs.”
Even with Microsoft's own increased interest in directly selling items such as Windows 8 PCs via its own stores, the company knows that there are lots of other retailers that are more than willing to sell Microsoft-based products. Microsoft Store marketing manager Kelly Soligon said, “Obviously we would love people to buy Microsoft technology from a Microsoft retail store, but at the end of the day if they have a great experience in the Microsoft store and end up buying a PC from Costco, that’s awesome too."
Even after Microsoft opens up a new store, the company says that it wants to be a good neighbor to the store's surrounding community. The press release states:
After the hoopla of the first day, each store has a commmunity development specialist who is dedicated to working with local organizations to arrange in-store events and activities that help drive awareness of their causes with the community while offering the opportunity to learn new technology skills. Each store has a theater space that community organizations can use for free, whether it’s Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops earning their technology patches or small businesses holding seminars.
Microsoft will open up its 31st permanent retail store in Toronto next week, and the company plans to have 44 of these stores up and running by mid-2013.
Source: Microsoft press release | Image via Microsoft