Microsoft Store to open new location in Austin, Texas

Microsoft's retail store plans are continuing to expand. So far the company has opened 15 brick and mortar retail locations in the US. Now Microsoft has announced that it will build its next Microsoft store in Austin, Texas. The Austin American-Statesman web site reports that the actual store will be built in the Domain shopping center in North Austin. That just happens to be the same shopping center where Apple currently has one of its many retail stores.

Microsoft first revealed its plans to open a store in Austin via a "poll" on its official Facebook page that had three choices, all of which were Austin, Texas. Opening up a store in that part of the US is a natural since Austin is already a technology business hub. Many businesses such as Dell and a number of online gaming developers call the Austin, Texas area home. This will actually be the second Microsoft Store based in Texas. The first opened up in Houston.

Microsoft launched its first Microsoft Store in 2009, around the time of the launch of the Windows 7 operating system. Microsoft has said in the past it plans to open another 75 new stores in the next two to three years. However it will need to pick up the pace to achieve that goal.

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There's one MS Store in Houston at the ~Galleria Mall~, there's a Apple store there too, but I never went to the Microsoft Store. Looks like dull somehow.

mjedi7 said,
There's one MS Store in Houston at the ~Galleria Mall~, there's a Apple store there too, but I never went to the Microsoft Store. Looks like dull somehow.

You kidding? The few times I go through the Galleria, the store is always full of people, and the diversity of products and items available is far more interesting to peruse than the Apple store. I haven't bought anything quite yet (I'm a college student, 'nuf said) but I'm strongly tempted to get my next laptop/tablet running Windows 8 as this store. As opposed to Best Buy where their PC displays get sloppy, and come with bloatware (including Best Buy added ones).

It's not like it hurts to browser a store, regardless of how 'dull' it may appear (which I still find unbelievable)

It's nice to see that they are continuing to expand. Now if only they would open some on the east coast. Maybe Philadelphia? Come on Microsoft, King of Prussia Mall needs a Microsoft Store... lol

TrT said,
If they bring a store to Dallas or the DFW area then I might just visit it often .

You need first to have an Apple store at that location in order for Microsoft to open its store :-)

Just in terms of aesthetics and openness, the Microsoft Store in Houston is better than the Apple Store. It's 4 times as large so you don't feel so cramped walking around in it. The entire stone literally has 2 rows of LCD screens going across all three walls that show promotional stuff. And the 105" HDTV helps to bring in customers as well. And there are plenty of couches an TVs to play games on.

I'm not comparing the products they sell, just the stores themselves and the Microsoft Store is more inviting to me. Apple Stores are too small for the amount of foot traffic they get.

dagamer34 said,
Just in terms of aesthetics and openness, the Microsoft Store in Houston is better than the Apple Store. It's 4 times as large so you don't feel so cramped walking around in it. The entire stone literally has 2 rows of LCD screens going across all three walls that show promotional stuff. And the 105" HDTV helps to bring in customers as well. And there are plenty of couches an TVs to play games on.

I'm not comparing the products they sell, just the stores themselves and the Microsoft Store is more inviting to me. Apple Stores are too small for the amount of foot traffic they get.

The question is, do the visitors turn into customers and what is Microsoft's revenue per store (something that Microsoft hide in its reports).
For comparison, Apple's last quarter results :

Apple store revenues: $6.1 billion
Total stores: 361 stores. $17 million average revenue.

alexalex said,

The question is, do the visitors turn into customers and what is Microsoft's revenue per store (something that Microsoft hide in its reports).
For comparison, Apple's last quarter results :

Apple store revenues: $6.1 billion
Total stores: 361 stores. $17 million average revenue.

It would not be as cut and dry for Microsoft because these sales might not be direct sales. These customers could be going on and buying a Windows PC from someone else or from the Microsoft Store. Whereas this can be the case for Apple Stores as well, it would be nowhere near as likely given Apple's involvement in the sale of their products.

M_Lyons10 said,

It would not be as cut and dry for Microsoft because these sales might not be direct sales. These customers could be going on and buying a Windows PC from someone else or from the Microsoft Store. Whereas this can be the case for Apple Stores as well, it would be nowhere near as likely given Apple's involvement in the sale of their products.

I don't see the difference. Apple products could be bought elsewhere as well. Apple's stores had 110 Million visitors in Q1 2012, that is about 3000 per store per day.

alexalex said,

The question is, do the visitors turn into customers and what is Microsoft's revenue per store (something that Microsoft hide in its reports).
For comparison, Apple's last quarter results :

Apple store revenues: $6.1 billion
Total stores: 361 stores. $17 million average revenue.


If you are trying to compare the two head to head, then you don't understand Microsoft's strategy. MS is not trying to outsell Apple stores with their MS stores. They are trying to create stores that are cooler than the Apple store nearby (in the same mall usually). In doing so, they are trying to resuscitate their brand image at the expense of Apple. At the MS store in Tyson's Corner, VA, I saw this first hand. The MS store had roughly as many people in it as the Apple store (a feat in itself), but it was drawing crowds around the entrance/front (the whole front of the store was open), and people were _excited_ about what they were seeing (Kinect + dancing game in particular). The whole atmosphere of the store was warm, bright, inviting, and fun, and you could tell that that was the mood of everyone in the store as well.

Essentially, MS stores are big, expensive advertisements for Microsoft's brand. And in that role, they are far better than any other advertisements I've ever seen Microsoft make.

dagamer34 said,
Just in terms of aesthetics and openness, the Microsoft Store in Houston is better than the Apple Store. It's 4 times as large so you don't feel so cramped walking around in it. The entire stone literally has 2 rows of LCD screens going across all three walls that show promotional stuff. And the 105" HDTV helps to bring in customers as well. And there are plenty of couches an TVs to play games on.

I'm not comparing the products they sell, just the stores themselves and the Microsoft Store is more inviting to me. Apple Stores are too small for the amount of foot traffic they get.

Yeah, I been there too. Really nice displays, and way more tempted to buy something here than say Best Buy. Though some of the furniture and stuff seems to be showing wear or tear or something. Or maybe I'm too observant.

Oh, I enjoy going to the Domain to eat lunch at North or The Steeping Room while I watch the goofy folks wait outside the Apple store for some new iGadget. I think Apple store must pass out loads of black umbrellas to those people to shade them, which is nice, and coordinates well with their black turtlenecks.
I doubt there will ever be anything that interesting outside the Microsoft store. *sigh*

I visited a MS Store for the first time recently and expected the worst--a dead quiet, empty store with none of the life that Apple store's have. What I found was an experience that blew the Apple Store out of the water. There were approximately as many people in the MS Store as the Apple Store in the same mall, and those in the MS Store were far _more_ engaged. A strategically-placed Kinect/Xbox/HDTV playing a dancing game in the open-air entrance was drawing crowds around the front of the store, while the Surface and all the display tables were also well attended. The whole place felt brighter, warmer, and more exciting than the Apple Store (In terms of the design of the place and the people I saw, not my own feelings; the atmosphere in the Apple Store was like a tea-party compared to the MS Store's dance party).

Anyway, I had thought MS Stores were neat and cool for someone like me to see, but weren't going to have mass appeal, but I am now a believer. MS has really done a good job with their stores, and if they continue to do as well with it as I saw, they could really help revitalize their image/brand.

[I was at the MS Store in Tyson's Corner, VA for those interested.]

Skwerl said,
Oh, I enjoy going to the Domain to eat lunch at North or The Steeping Room while I watch the goofy folks wait outside the Apple store for some new iGadget. I think Apple store must pass out loads of black umbrellas to those people to shade them, which is nice, and coordinates well with their black turtlenecks.
I doubt there will ever be anything that interesting outside the Microsoft store. *sigh*

Love The Steeping Room. You forgot about the employees as well...

"That just happens to be the same shopping center where Apple currently has one of its many retail stores"

It doesn't just happen, it is deliberate. All of Microsoft's stores are opposite/near an Apple store.

alexalex said,
"That just happens to be the same shopping center where Apple currently has one of its many retail stores"

It doesn't just happen, it is deliberate. All of Microsoft's stores are opposite/near an Apple store.

So what, ever noticed there is a Lowes, 2 blocks from Home Depot...