Best Buy + Microsoft + Apple + Samsung = Nerd Mecca
Let’s be honest: when Apple started pumping retailers for floor space and setup dedicated, nice-looking demonstration stations for their products, we all knew this was where retail was headed, right? Okay, I might be lying about that. But in retrospect, it seems really freaking obvious, right? Right. For a long time now, we’ve heard about Best Buy’s financial woes. They’ve been struggling to make ends meet to such an extent that employees are now expected to hock extended warranties on just about everything that leaves the store, because those pad the bottom line and are used relatively rarely. A few months ago, Samsung started opening up its own dedicated sections of floor space inside of Best Buys, providing better showcases for their own products. Whether the employees they staff them with are knowledgeable is a subject for much debate, but at the end of the day, it must be worth Samsung’s time to follow Apple’s lead (but then, that’s pretty much what Samsung does, right? Okay, maybe not. That was a cheap shot).
Now, however, Microsoft is jumping in the fray, and I have to say, it’s about goddamn time. The announcement video and details are after the break, but the real question is: what do you think about this exciting new development in nerdy retail life? Tell us in the comments!
According to Microsoft, the stores will range from 1,500 to 2,200 square feet. Each will offer a selection of Windows tablets, phones, desktops, etc., as well as Xbox paraphernalia (I wonder how that’ll work, considering Best Buy already has a large, dedicated Xbox section). It’ll be a place where consumers can get their hands on the latest gadgets, basically.
According to Microsoft’s Chief Marketing Officer, Chris Cappossela, “Unlike a lot of store-within-a-store concepts, this will actually be a department-level takeover within Best Buy stores. And they will be massive in size, up to 2,200 square feet in some locations. The other unique thing about the Windows Store is the people. There will be an additional 1,200 staff on hand to provide a great customer experience, whether it’s choosing the right PC or showing consumers how to stream Xbox music through their Surface.”
From the sounds of things, users should, one hopes, be able to get a higher caliber of technical information and assistance than is traditionally possible in Best Buy. Can’t wait to find out! It’s good to see the Windows team getting their shit together and finally creating an environment that can really highlight the benefits of Windows 8 products. Now if only the Xbox team would pull their heads out of their collective asses, MS might actually make some headway sans hatred. Ah, well, it’s good to dream, right?