Microsoft has 25 retail stores in America. The first one in Canada opens this November.
The software giant announced that it will open a Microsoft Store in Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre on November 16. This is the first official word from the company on its Canadian store, despite rumours swirling since February.
Microsoft’s decision to expand north of the border comes as a result of trying to keep up with the established and growing retail presence by their big competitor, Apple. Of course, Apple is already way ahead of them with 25 stores in Canada but it looks like Microsoft certainly has enough of a fan base to move in and try to take their chunk of the market.
The launch of a Toronto Microsoft store will be exciting for consumers looking to take the new Surface tablet for a test drive as soon as it becomes available, similar to how Apple allows consumers to stand around pristine white tables to test out their products. Loyal Canadian Microsoft fans learned earlier this week that the Surface tablet would only be initially available at retail outlets, with no information on how Canadians in other cities might be able to get the new tablet when it’s scheduled to come out.
But while Yorkdale shoppers will be among the first of Canadians to get the real hands-on deal with their new tablet, Microsoft will also be taking on the huge challenge of creating an in-store experience that is unique enough and sustainable to compete against Yorkdale’s established Apple retail location and the 22 others throughout Canada. The Yorkdale launch will set the course for future expansion to other Canadian locations as well.
Samsung has also entered the fray with its own similar retail store.
Existing Microsoft retail locations throughout the states actually have similar design qualities in comparison to Apple stores, featuring lots of glass, shiny wooden floors and big lounge chairs. Microsoft has been able to maintain a reputation for consumer care and reliability, and their ability to define a retail experience that’s not viewed by consumers as a clone of trendy Apple stores should be a priority for the new Yorkdale opening.