MICROSOFT HAS confirmed its first bricks-and-mortar store will hit the UK on July 11, 2019.
The three-storey tech boutique takes over the Benetton Store premises on Oxford Circus in London, offering 21,932 sq feet of shopping space, testing zones and learning opportunities spanning across the entire consumer Microsoft range from Windows to Hololens to Xbox to Office.
Sadly, rumours of a Zune Zone are unfounded.
We're just going to leave this story here, where we predicted that this would happen in this exact location, over a year ago. Jus' sayin'.
David Porter whose job description is given as simply "Microsoft Store", giving rise to the question ‘but where does he keep his scanning gun?' said:
"A flagship store in London has long been part of our vision for our physical and digital store presence. This opening represents another step in our journey to meet our customers - from consumers to businesses - wherever they are and deepen our connection with them. London is one of the world's most exciting shopping destinations, and we look forward to empowering customers to explore all that is possible with Microsoft."
There's a certain cheek to the location of the new store - it's so close to Apple's flagship in Regent Street, you could almost fall over in one and land in the other.
And amongst the features, there's an "Answer Desk" where experts will be on hand to give support to any Microsoft user - even if they've not been a customer of the store. (cough…. Apple Genius Bar…. cough).
John Carter, recently installed as manager of the London store said:
"This will be more than just a store. Customers will have the chance to explore and get hands-on with technology. We've got a passionate group of store associates ready to bring the experience of tech alive for customers. Unique to any job in retail, there will be many ways for us to give back to our communities, help them build connections and grow."
(Actually mate, unless the entire store has the ability to transform itself into a Volkswagen Beetle or something, it is just a store, but we get where you're coming from).
Although this is the first entry into the UK physical store market, Microsoft Store is already an established brand in the USA, as well as offering stores in markets like Mexico, Australia and Canada.
Rumours that the new store would be refitted twice-yearly and would be liable to sudden closures for weeks afterwards are sadly untrue. Yeah, we made a Windows-as-a-Service joke. Deal with it. μ
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