Microsoft is quietly getting back into retail sales

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,425   +132
Staff member
Why it matters: Microsoft last summer permanently closed all of its physical stores after halting operations a few months earlier due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Nearly a year later, it seems Redmond is ready to dip its toes back into retail... sort of.

In a statement issued to The Verge, Microsoft’s retail boss Travis Walter said that starting July 1, customers will be able to purchase select Microsoft products from the company’s Experience Centers in New York, Sydney and London.

The ongoing chip shortage, however, will limit the inventory that Microsoft is able to stock at the Experience Centers. The Xbox Series X / S, for example, won’t be available initially according to The Verge. Console accessories as well as Surface devices and Microsoft 365 subscriptions, however, should be on offer.

Per the publication, Redmond’s moves don’t represent a return of Microsoft’s retail stores. What’s more, there won’t be online order pick-up service offered at the Experience Centers. Instead, it sounds more like Microsoft just wants to make it a bit easier for business customers already using the Experience Centers to purchase Microsoft products.

Many have tried but virtually none have been able to replicate the standalone retail success that Apple has experienced over the past two decades, although the store-within-a-store concept has proven successful for some brands.

Image credit 1000 Words, Roman Tirapolsky

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Posts: 5,214   +5,910
Microsoft stores never made any sense to me.

Unless they were going to use the MS stores to control the Xbox releases until Demand is met, I see no reason for them.


Posts: 5,214   +5,910
Brand awareness and marketing, nothing else.

Microsoft is everywhere. They literally own the "office suite" because pretty much all of the schools and offices use MS Office.

Windows is ubiquitous.

PC Gaming is dominated by Windows by more than 90%.

XBOX is ubiquitous.

Their stores are useless. Surface isn't a good choice. Xbox can be purchased everywhere.

Unless these stores were used to focus on Microsoft made Hardware, Xbox distribution and Microsoft product training/help - which they truly are not - do they have a real use.

APPLE for example sells their phones, tablets, computers, gives genius bar help/repair and an experience worth actually visiting. Microsoft store doesn't.

Why aren't MS stores being used to distribute Xboxes???

That tells you all you need to know.