Microsoft just opened its first physical store in Europe | CNBC Reports

Microsoft just opened its first physical store in Europe | CNBC Reports


We’re outside Microsoft’s new flagship store
location on Oxford Circus in the center of London. This is a famous shopping area lined with
some of the world’s biggest brands, including Apple just
down the street. But when you think of Microsoft, its probably
software like Microsoft Office comes to mind, not exactly things you’d
go buy on the main street. So we’re here to get a first look inside
the store to see what it’s all about. Right away, you can tell Microsoft is trying to make
this more than your regular electronics store. It includes interactive video walls, a
customized McLaren and a business center. The store spans three floors and a total
of 21,932 square feet, so it’s pretty big. It’s the first of its kind in Europe, but there are similar
flagship locations in Sydney and New York City. One main purpose of flagship stores like these
is to drive interest and buzz around the company, versus generating
sales on the spot. It’s all about the experience. Of course we want to sell stuff but that’s not
how we measure the success of the store. So along with the demos and experiences, Microsoft
is also showing off its growing list of devices. The company made its name in software, but
it’s pushed into hardware in recent years. For example, revenue from its Surface
products increased 21% last quarter. The Surface hardware that you see all throughout
the store that’s going to be a big, big seller. There’s no doubt a physical store is actually
very good for choosing physical products and that’s part of
why we’re here. Besides targeting the general consumer, you
can tell Microsoft is also trying to appeal to specific audiences, like
gamers and professionals. The HoloLens 2 headset is
specifically aimed at businesses. Meanwhile, this part of the store is clearly
geared toward hardcore gamers. Microsoft isn’t the first tech company to
emphasize the in-store retail experience. Apple pioneered a new approach to retail stores in
the early 2000s and was met with some skepticism, especially at a time when other established
consumer electronics chains were struggling. Now several tech companies have brick-
and-mortar stores with an Apple feel including Chinese companies
Xiaomi and Huawei. Meanwhile, Amazon is also opening more storefronts
including bookstores, cashier-less grocery stores and so-called 4-star stores for
its most popular products. Still there’s no denying the popularity
of online shopping has changed the business landscape for
brick-and-mortar stores. In total, a record 2,481 stores disappeared
from Britain’s top 500 high streets last year. What we’re seeing here is some of those
big tech giants move into physical retail but they’re being much more
selective in where they want to be. So, in primary locations like Oxford street,
where there’s sustainable levels of footfall, and the experience is wider than just retail,
is one of the crucial ingredients for success. Consumers more and more want something
meaningful when they go into the store. And that can be about entertainment, about
the environment, even about escapism. And this is what Microsoft
are really trying to create. Some industry experts say the main street could
soon be dominated by massive companies with the money to spend on
flagship locations in prime districts. Microsoft, which is one of the world’s most
valuable companies worth around $1 trillion, looks like one of them. Hey everyone, it’s Elizabeth here.
Thanks so much for watching our video. Let us know what you think
in the comments section and leave us any other
ideas there too. See you later!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *