Microsoft will "adjust and adapt strategy" for new MS Store openings

In July 2011, Microsoft announced plans to open as many as 75 new Microsoft Store retail locations in the next two to three years, including some outside of the United States. At the time, the company only had 10 of those retail stores open in the US. The math tells us that to launch 75 more stores in three years, Microsoft would have to open 25 stores a year, or about two every month.

However, since July 2011 Microsoft has only opened six more retail stores, all in the US, and has only announced plans to launch five more stores, including the most recent announcement of a Boston store. Unconfirmed reports seem to show that at least six more Microsoft Stores could be opening in the near future.

Even with those numbers figured into the mix, that means Microsoft might only open, at the most, just 16 new stores since that July 2011 announcement. If Microsoft keeps at that current pace, it also means it will fall far short of its goal of opening 75 new stores by mid-2014.

We contacted Microsoft to ask if their target number of 75 new Microsoft Store locations has changed since that announcement. We received a response back from a Microsoft spokesperson:

At the Worldwide Partner Conference last summer, Kevin Turner discussed potential plans to open up to 75 new Microsoft Stores within the next 2-3 years. As Kevin noted, we continue to learn from our customers so we can provide them with the best choice, value and service and we will adjust and adapt our strategy to open stores in a number of additional locations over the coming years as it makes sense. While we're exploring several locations for future Microsoft Stores, we have no additional information to share at this time.

While not a 100 percent confirmation, this answer would strongly hint that Microsoft is indeed making changes to its plans to open new Microsoft Store locations. We will keep track of the company's plans in the months ahead.

Image via Microsoft

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MS has decided that yes they can copy Apple's store locations, staff uniforms, store layout and store design including the MS version of the Genius Bar but they need to now focus on making money at each store.

derekaw said,
MS has decided that yes they can copy Apple's store locations, staff uniforms, store layout and store design including the MS version of the Genius Bar but they need to now focus on making money at each store.

I also find it weird that the Kohl's store and my local Kmart seem to have the same format!! I don't think copying store layout should an issue. You may also note that unlike Apple stores, MS stores are not focused on making money since they pretty have more product offering from others brands than their own. More so these stores are actually to educate and expose potential customers on the vast MS products available.

Interesting and I think you may be right, MS are opening stores to showcase stuff their stuff and to sell it if they can. I get it.

I will be interesting to know what measure is used to ensure this pays off somehow and how that measure looks right now.

Edited by derekaw, May 8 2012, 8:52am :

With a MS Store at my local mall, I have been really quite impressed with the store experience. They have a few annoying, dimwitted employees like any other store, but overall it has been a very good experience.

Like most Apple Stores that I have seen, the front is completely open with stuff all over the rest of the walls. Along the entire span of both side-walls is a TV (really a bunch of flat panel TVs with no noticeable border between them). Hooked up to those are Xboxes, which use parts of the wall to display the game. It creates a very cool result, and it's also very technically impressive as each game screen is actually a portion of four different screens. I find it impressive that all of the screens render smoothly. The back wall has a much larger, single screen that they use for classes and promotions, with some bench-style chairs.

Not unlike an Apple Store, they also have a bunch of computers lined up across the store. However, unlike an Apple Store, they have a Kinect that people can play on throughout the store, which goes on the wall. It creates a lot of funny moments actually. They even have two Kinects hooked up outside of the store, which are connected to very nice, and very thin LED TVs.

Beyond that, I also must add that the Microsoft Store has actually been more popular than the Apple Store. It does have a better location than the Apple Store, but I think that it also has the Kinect's scattered throughout the store going for it.

I really hope that Microsoft creates more of these stores because, frankly, Apple needs the competition and honest competition is always a good thing. It doesn't hurt that Microsoft gives away gift cards at the MS Store quite regularly.

I hope by "adjust", they also mean adopting their own store culture and etiquette than simply copying that of the Apple stores.

How long does it take to build a store? I would assume Microsoft would want to have stores in key areas before Windows 8 launches.