Microsoft may open Fifth Avenue New York retail store: Report

Microsoft may open Fifth Avenue New York retail store: Report

Summary: Microsoft may be close to obtaining a Fifth Avenue store, providing the company with its first, real Manhattan flagship location.

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According to the New York Daily News, Microsoft is negotiating to take control of the former Fendi store on Fifth Avenue, which it would turn into its first Manhattan brick-and-mortar store.

msstoremanhattan

The Fendi store, located at 677 Fifth Avenue (near 53rd Street) is five blocks away from Apple's Fifth Avenue Store (near 58th Street).

Microsoft isn't commenting on the Daily News report, beyond this statement from a spokesperson:

“We are always working to identify the best possible locations for our Microsoft retail stores to deliver the choice, value and service our customers are looking for, but do not have any additional information to share at this time.”

Microsoft currently operates a kiosk, or "specialty store," in Columbus Circle in Manhattan, but still has no full-size store here. The company does have a few full-size stores in New York, including a recently opened store in Long Island. Microsoft opened a full-size retail store in Times Square when it launched its original Surface tablets in 2012, but ended up closing it several months later.

(I had wondered whether Microsoft might opt to open a full-size retail store on the street level of its new New York City offices in Times Square near Port Authority, but at least so far, that doesn't seem to be the plan.)

There's no word in the Daily News report as to when Microsoft is aiming to open a store in the Fifth Avenue location.

Microsoft currently has more than 100 retail stores listed on its Microsoft Store location page, with specialty and full-size stores located in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. Microsoft still hasn't opened any retail stores beyond these locations. CRN is reporting Microsoft may be abandoning plans to open retail stores in the U.K. Meanwhile, Apple has hundreds of stores located throughout the world, with four of of its flagship stores located in Manhattan.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told Wall Street and press during the company's Q4 fiscal 2014 earnings call that he considered retail stores to be a "supporting," not a core, business for the company. Lately, much of the company's retail focus has been on working with Best Buy and Staples to create dedicated Microsoft store-within-a-store outlets.

Microsoft officially announced its retail-store launch plan back in February 2009. At that time, the company appointed David Porter (a former Dreamworks Animation and Wal-mart exec) as Corporate Vice President of Retail Stores. Microsoft’s strategy has been to open its stores as close to Apple stores as possible as it expands its retail presence. Full-size Microsoft Stores sell Windows PCs, Windows Phones, Xboxes, Microsoft and third-party software, games, peripherals and more.

Topics: Microsoft, Tablets, PCs, Windows, Windows Phone

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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17 comments
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  • They need store abroad...

    In main cities throughout Europe and Asian!

    That's not only one of Apple's strengths but possibly also one of the main solutions available to change people's mind about Microsoft. Indeed, the kind of services and products (i.e., the Signature product line) these stores deliver would constitute one terrific way to improve Windows' crappy image when mostly only techies know that OEM's are responsible for the terrible experience one may have with the OS's from Redmond.

    So, if they want to show and lead the way in terms of productivity and expériences in a mobile-first world, that's the way to go!
    deMaelstrom
    • Microsoft Needs To Save Its Money Because...

      * Why open new stores after laying off 18,000 knucleheads

      * You can buy windows machines anywhere (like Egghead, Walmart, Staples, the Moon)

      * Surface is on life support, as only half the line survived to see version 3

      * Prime retail space in Manhattan costs a fortune

      * How long does it take to demo a Surface 3; aside from touch covers and a docking station, there's nothing else to see!

      * Instead of building a new store they should tear down Windows 8.x and build a better OS!

      As usual, Microsoft's priorities are all screwed up.
      orandy
    • I agree

      The problem here in Sweden are that Apple products are presented very good in the shelves.
      Microft Surface are in a dusty corner etc...

      Same with the smartphones. Samsung and iPhones is often visible so you can try them out.
      Nokia phones are not visible so you must ask the staff about Lumias. Often in boxes and not opened.

      I dont know if Microsoft must have own stores. But they must solve this issue in some way.
      johnh3
  • LA: 3 NY: 1

    I find the lack of brick-and-mortar stores in NYC to be intriguing. How can you not be in the largest market in the country, when your competition IS?

    According to the microsoftstore website "Cerritos" and "Canoga Park" are listed as coming soon in California. This will give the LA area FOUR brick-and-mortar stores (along with Century City and Costa Mesa) as well as specialty stores in Glendale and Thousand Oaks. All within a 40 mile radius of my home.

    Lou S.
    Long Beach, CA
    Lou Syracuse
    • Let's not kid ourselves

      None of those locations represent anything like the cachet, and as result the cost, of a 5th Avenue address in mid-town Manhattan. Although depending upon exactly where, Century City and Costa Mesa may be comparable, if not close. A Microsoft store there is going to be little more a money sink. Even if it were the busiest MS store in the world, its over-head costs would make profitability very difficult if not impossible.
      matthew_maurice
  • oops. that is 4-1

    my bad...
    Lou Syracuse
  • I wonder how the current stores are doing.

    The success of Apple stores is largely due to Apple's hot selling products over the years (iMacs, iPods, iPhones, iPads). What are the hot selling products Microsoft is offering in their stores to make it a success (rhetorical)?
    dave95.
    • I seriously doubt the MS stores represent any signifcant revenue

      I've never seen a Microsoft store with more than a few people in it, and most often staff exceed shoppers at any given time. Admittedly that's totally anecdotal, but as a business Microsoft stores have nothing in common with Apple stores. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if they're under the Marketing budget.
      matthew_maurice
      • The 'success' of Apple stores

        Is that they allow Apple to channel stuff every quarter to meet expectations. Ever wonder why you never see channel inventory data in their K-10?

        For the record, I am an Apple and Microsoft shareholder...
        omdguy
  • store experence

    I have found the experience at the Microsoft stores I have been to very positive. The staff makes you feel welcome. When I come in to fix an issue, first question after is do I want something to drink like water, coffee, soda or tea.
    rcroeder
    • Something to drink? How about an Manhattan ...

      It would certainly calm a customer down a bit before being shown the charges for the repair. Nobody but taxi drivers drive in Manhattan anyway.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Microsoft may open Fifth Avenue New York retail store: Report

    I might have to dig out the sleeping bag if they do open a store. They need a good location in NYC and I would make a special trip just to see it. Plus its NYC!
    Loverock.Davidson
    • Why? Don't you regularly sleep in Central Park?

      The Microsoft Store can't be much farther away from Central Park than the PCs you regularly use at the NYC public library.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • @Rabid Howler Monkey

        Way too funny shite.

        LMAO
        orandy
  • MS has tried stores before...

    And closed them.

    What will make this round of stores any different?
    jessepollard
  • For opening retail stores...

    more is better. If Microsoft is serious about selling to consumer.
    samirsshah
  • Very Positive

    It's always a good experience if its a pleasant one. I bought my first Surface on day one of Times Square store and, even though crowded and hectic, the staff was efficient, helpful and enthused. Best Buy is o'k but the staff can be evasive and a challenge.
    primartcloud