New impressions of the Microsoft Store

I visited the Microsoft Store at the Mall of America, a couple of months after commenting about it on RetailWire. (I have also made it a study topic for the undergraduate class in retailing management that I teach.) While the store had good foot traffic (not surprising the week after Christmas at the MOA), it suffered from the “identity crisis” that many of us predicted last fall. What, exactly, does Microsoft stand for other than a software supplier for other brands’ hardware? The store was dominated by “demonstration” spaces (like an Apple store) where customers can try out laptops and other equipment. But some of Microsoft’s proprietary “wins” (Xbox Kinect and the new Windows phone software) seemed curiously underplayed. Understanding that this is a work in progress, there is plenty of thinking to be done especially in contrast to the Apple Store next door.

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