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Microsoft Bellevue shop gets line by luring Miley Cyrus fans

updated 05:50 pm EST, Thu November 18, 2010

Microsoft Bellevue store opens by promising Cyrus

Microsoft today opened its first retail store in home territory through controversial means with an unveiling in the Bellevue Square Mall. Early reports had about 1,000 line up for the event, which saw CEO Steve Ballmer cut the ribbon, but the company once again used the strategy of holding a teen-focused concert to lure an audience into the store. The first 2,000 to enter the store received two free tickets to a Miley Cyrus concert due Saturday, triggering queues the day before that otherwise wouldn't have existed.

Multiple line visitors interviewed by the Seattle Times admitted having lined up solely to get the tickets. In one case, nearly a whole family arrived in hopes of getting 10 tickets. Some resulted in sales or expected repeat business, but a video (below) from TechFlash from its story on the opening revealed that some of the queue included preteen and teen girls that rarely appear at computer store events.

"We're mostly here for the tickets," Esther Erd told the Times. "I'm thinking of buying an iPad for Christmas."

Earlier store openings have given away tickets for Justin Bieber and other pop stars that could bring in both children and their parents. Microsoft has been criticized for the approach in the past as it artificially inflates the perceived interest in an attempt to recreate the enthusiasm of largely sincere lineups surrounding Apple stores.

Without such help, such as during the Kinect and Windows Phone 7 introductions, Microsoft has had relatively little attention. Kinect lineups were large, but usually at chain stores like Best Buy or GameStop.

The opening is nonetheless important for Microsoft, which is still fighting to reclaim its status in the public eye. It has a vested interest in having a store in Bellevue Square as Apple has had a location in the shopping center since 2004 and has become symbolic of Microsoft's problems capturing MP3 player and phone share. Microsoft's location opened just three stores away.

by MacNN Staff



  1. facebook_Doug

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Nov 2010


    Apple Store

    The Apple store is two doors down towards Nordstrom.

    P.S. The Apple store opened in Bellevue Square on May 10, 2003.

  1. global.philosopher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just about sas it all

    Lining up for the free tickets and then off to buy an iPad. Probably will use the money that would have been used on concert tickets. Microsoft might as well entice customers with free iPads.

  1. bredlo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    One heckuva business model

    Ridiculous. It won't translate into sustained sales, so who cares. h***, pass out free puppies. Good luck.

  1. sribe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    that's pathetic

    Offer free Miley Cyrus tickets to the first 2,000 customers, and only 1,000 people line up? Wow, that's really sad...

  1. tsmelker

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It figures...

    ... that Ballmer the Monkey Boy would like Miley Cyrus.

  1. My Dog Wally

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Smart move

    When all you've got to demonstrate is a Kin phone and a Zune mp3 player, bribing people to come to your grand opening is probably not the worst marketing strategy. Of course, in the absence of having desirable products, that's what a lot of companies do.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    reminds me

    of the time Sarah Palin came to Arizona to campaign for John McCain in his primary race against JD Hayworth.

    Lots of people turned up... and when Sarah left, so did the crowds.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Microsoft's unsustainable marketing "strategy"

    MS just keeps throwing money at people to get their attention. More proof that Microsoft has absolutely no idea what kinds of products consumers really want. Their customers are the Dells, HPs, and corporate IT managers of the world. Not average consumers.

    Of course, with their massive two-headed Windows+Office cash cow, they can afford to pay people to notice them. But for how much longer? And what fraction of the people who snapped up those Miley Cyrus tix stayed in the Microsoft Store for more than 12 seconds longer than they absolutely had to? Precious few I'd expect.

  1. redcapzero

    Joined: Dec 1969



    However, if the same offer applied for Roxy Music (reunion) tix along with the venue being the Paramount Theater (Oakland) AND Eno choose to join in...I'd certainly stand in line (for hours); although I'd certainly need my i-Pad to keep me company.


  1. Cronocide

    Joined: Dec 1969


    They would have gotten more fans...

    ...If they would have said that they would be firing Ballmer. I would have gone.

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