Microsoft planning new stores in Chicago & Minneapolis to take on Apple

Neowin has learnt that Microsoft plans to open two new Microsoft retail stores in the United States.

The software giant has posted several job vacancies for two new stores in Minneapolis and Chicago. The company is looking to hire a Retail Community and Events Specialist, Product Advisors and Trainers in preparation for the new stores. It's not clear from the job postings when the stores are due to open.

The new stores will join the fourth Microsoft store, recently launched in San Diego. Microsoft also has the first two stores located in Scottsdale, Arizona and Mission Viejo, California, and a third store in Park Meadows Mall - Lone Tree, Colorado. Microsoft is also planning to open a fifth store in the Seattle area, although an opening date has not yet been set.

Apple opened a store recently in Uptown, Minneapolis on Saturday June 19. It's not yet known if Microsoft is planning to locate their Minneapolis store in Uptown. Microsoft's fourth store in San Diego, California opened on the same day Apple launched its iPhone 4 device in June. The San Diego store is located in the same Fashion Valley Mall, four shops away from Apple's own store. Both stores ended up in a surreal showdown with extremely long queues for both stores on the Microsoft store's launch day.

Apple also has a retail store in Chicago, which opened in June, 2003. Again, it's not clear from the job postings whether the store will be located on North Michigan Avenue, alongside Apple's retail store. Neowin has reached out to Microsoft officials to confirm the stores' exact locations but at the time of writing we have not received a response.

Microsoft introduced the Kinect gaming system to its existing four stores recently. Customers can be the first to play the new controller-less system, due to launch in November for Xbox 360. The Microsoft Stores offer all of the Microsoft products found through online retailers and inside major retail chains, including keyboards and mice, Windows 7, Xbox 360 and many more products. Apple currently has 222 stores in the United States alone, and 287 total stores worldwide, including 27 in the UK and 14 in Canada.


A view outside Microsoft's Scottsdale, Arizona store
Image Credit: Dru Bloomfield (Flickr)

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38 Comments

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saxondale. said,
The microsoft stores will never ever be able to compete against apple's iconic stores.

Compete in what way? In selling iCrap? You're right. Microsoft stores won't be able to compete with Apple stores in selling iCrap. However, they will destroy Apple stores in sales of Xboxes, Windows notebooks, and Windows software.

bj55555 said,

Compete in what way? In selling iCrap? You're right. Microsoft stores won't be able to compete with Apple stores in selling iCrap. However, they will destroy Apple stores in sales of Xboxes, Windows notebooks, and Windows software.

But they had to rip Apple's store strategy almost down to the finest details just to have a chance to sell their "WindowsCrap". You see how stupid it sounds putting "Crap" after stuff? Apple don't sell Xboxes, Windows notebooks or Windows software, but they do sell very profitable products that are bringing in a substantial amount of cash for them year on year. Note how Microsoft felt the need to copy the strategy in the hopes that they could have similar success in that area. Not saying it won't work, just saying how it is.

saxondale. said,
The microsoft stores will never ever be able to compete against apple's iconic stores.

correct. 4 stores dont compete with 287 unless your a neowin editor

Brendando said,

Apple don't sell Xboxes, Windows notebooks or Windows software, but they do sell very profitable products that are bringing in a substantial amount of cash for them year on year.

News flash: some of us aren't interested in padding Apple's bottom line with their ridiculously overpriced products. The "Apple Tax" isn't worth paying. Ever! Keep your iCrap ffs!

bj55555 said,

Compete in what way? In selling iCrap? You're right. Microsoft stores won't be able to compete with Apple stores in selling iCrap. However, they will destroy Apple stores in sales of Xboxes, Windows notebooks, and Windows software.

The only way this would even begin to make sense is if both stores sold the same items.

Brendando said,
They look RIDICULOUSLY similar to Apple Stores in terms of aesthetic design.

All minimalist designs look the same.

Brendando said,
They look RIDICULOUSLY similar to Apple Stores in terms of aesthetic design.

You mean the room is rectangular and some walls are glass?

RealFduch said,

You mean the room is rectangular and some walls are glass?

I mean it looks very much like the Apple Stores which preceded it. That's what I mean. K?

Bengal34 said,

All minimalist designs look the same.

That's quite a broad statement to make. That would mean all minimalist wallpapers would look the same, but they don't. The stores could use different materials, colours, frontpieces and arrangement. All I'm saying is that Microsoft Stores, which came after Apple Stores, look very similar to the latter.

RealFduch said,

You mean the room is rectangular and some walls are glass?

haha, funny. I don't really see what the big deal is though. They look different to me. But in all reality, how different could a tech store look? They all have similarities...

This photo proves that if you open a nicely lay out store with the latest tech gadgets on display for you to play with them at will, laptops, phones, it will fill up with people, just like Apple stores do. By the end of the year, with Xbox Kinect, Windows Phones and tablets from many manufacturers, touch screen laptops, etc. I'm sure they'll be packed.

StandingInAlley said,
Do People even visit these? Lol


On the new iphone release a Microsoft store opend next to an Apple store and was more packed and it had a bigger line.

Microsoft have alot cooler tech, I live in Australia but im guessing they have surface tables and alike in there? And soon Kinect?

Vandalsquad said,


On the new iphone release a Microsoft store opend next to an Apple store and was more packed and it had a bigger line.

Microsoft have alot cooler tech, I live in Australia but im guessing they have surface tables and alike in there? And soon Kinect?

Weren't they giving a way a tonne of freebies?

Bern@rd said,
Getting closer and closer to the East Coast...

Don't expect New York or Boston anytime soon if ever. Apple's iconic stores will dwarf anything Microsoft would open. I've said this before but all these stores are doing is competing with Best Buy. Opening stores in malls where Apple has a low presence isn't competing.

techbeck said,
To take on Apple? Umm, ok.

It's a sensionalist title. Of course that they are competing, but i dont think they are making such a big deal internally. They are just doing business.

Emon said,
Please open it in Rosedale Mall!
I'm sure the Mall of America is being looked at very closely. No other mall in the area generates the foot traffic that MOA does and the visibility during the packed holiday season would suit them well.

Once the Best Buy license for the rotunda is up, MS could throw big bucks to the mall to get their name on the Rotunda.

I haven't been to Uptown in years and doubt I would make my way up there to see this store.

zeke009 said,
I'm sure the Mall of America is being looked at very closely. No other mall in the area generates the foot traffic that MOA does and the visibility during the packed holiday season would suit them well.

This makes the most sense since there is an Apple store in the MoA too so that'd be direct competition. All this crap reminds me that you can't drive past a Target without seeing a Wal-Mart, at least in the Midwest.