Microsoft opened its second retail store in Seattle this week and plans on rolling-out the concept in an additional 75 locations within three years. The firm’s strategy is to ‘better position the brand, in the mind of the consumer’. It’s unfortunate that Microsoft is ten years late with their stores and then essentially copied the Apple store including the store’s façade, the plan layout and down to details such as the bench tables for product display.
This liberal and blatant copying may actually end up hurting Microsoft in the long run because consumers may actually make the association that Apple is the innovator and Microsoft the wannabe. This is particularly true when their build out program is targeting sites adjacent to existing Apple stores whose sales have been reported at over $5,000.00 per square foot. For additional information see a story on the Microsoft store in the Seattle Times.
Bottom Line: No innovative brand identity here, what a lost opportunity.