Iâ€™ve been to dozens of Apple stores. From Tokyo to London, the iconic Apple prestigious brick and mortar store has been one of my favorite hang-outs. Whenever I go to a different country, I make it a point to drop by the Apple store (assuming that country does have an Apple store).
During my trip last month to the United States, I was visiting my sister who lives in Delaware. While we were inside one of Delawareâ€™s more high-end malls, my sister excitedly told me that Microsoft has recently opened a store right inside the mall.
â€śOh, where is it located?â€ť I asked my sister. Her reply wasÂ â€śItâ€™s near the Apple store, câ€™mon!â€ť.
Microsoft putting up a store near an Apple store. Figures. Thatâ€™s just so… Microsoft.
So off we went to Microsoftâ€™s store. Truth be told, it looked nice. The store was brightly lit with the majority of it painted white. All of the demo units like Windows laptops and the Microsoft Surface were propped on wooden tables. There was even an XBox 360 located in the corner. Aesthetically, Microsoft took a page from Appleâ€™s store design manual.Â The major difference was that instead of huge posters, long stretches of videoÂ monitors adorned the walls. It may be a copy cat, but the Microsoft store still looked pretty nice.
Unfortunately, there was one important thing that Microsoft wasnâ€™t able to copy from the Apple store, the number of visitors. While the Apple store had a sizable number of people browsing/buying inside the store, the only people inside the Microsoft store were the sales staff. To put into perspective the difference in foot traffic between the two stores, the Apple store had an actual State Trooper stationed inside the store. When I asked the State Trooper why the Apple needed his services, he simply said that he was there for crowd control.
Yeah. Crowd control. Inside the store. The Apple store potentially gets so much foot traffic that an officer of the law is needed to maintain order. Unfreakinâ€™ believable!
To their credit, the MS store staff were very accommodating and helpful, so much in fact that they were able to convince my brother to buy a Microsoft Surface tablet.
All-in-all, my visit to the Microsoft store was a pleasant one. Some people might consider the store a cheap imitation of the Apple store, but Microsoftâ€™s doing a good thing here. A retail store that is dedicated in showcasing the latest and greatest offerings from Microsoft is definitely to their advantage. I just hope that Microsoft will be able to figure out a way to attract people to their store!
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