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Microsoft stores seeing low traffic versus Apple's

updated 09:05 am EST, Fri November 26, 2010

MS retail hurt by few visits, non-exclusivity

Microsoft's retail stores are so far trailing significantly behind Apple's in terms of traffic and their actual content, an informal study of one store revealed. After following traffic at the Apple and Microsoft stores in the Shops at Mission Viejo mall, the LA Times saw 19 shoppers leave with purchases at the Apple location while just three did the same at Microsoft's store. A pair of interviews determined that many were leaving without purchasing because the Microsoft stores didn't have Apple's variety and in many cases were worse than other stores selling Microsoft-related goods.

"There is no exclusive product here to pull me in," shopper John Smits said. "But at the Apple Store, there's all kinds of stuff I can't get anywhere else."

Fellow shopper Lea Encarnacion added that the picks of MP3 players, which at a Microsoft store is usually focused on the Zune HD, was disappointing. The Mission Viejo store "just didn't have as much stuff in it" as the Apple store, and what was there wasn't desirable.

Microsoft has primarily treated its stores as a public image strategy and has often put them as close as possible to Apple stores to raise awareness of choices before customers choose Apple. VP David Porter argued that Microsoft stores have "choice, better value and great service," referring to the diversity of PC makers, the lower overall prices compared to Macs and the Genius Bar-like help desks. Discovery was also important as people were more likely to see technology like Kinect that they wouldn't see elsewhere.

Visitors nonetheless disagreed with not only the variety but also the pricing, which in many cases wasn't necessarily any better and was sometimes higher than at Best Buy or similar chains. Online stores also allow for more customization than what Microsoft's store could offer, defeating one of the primary advantages of a Windows system.

Microsoft hasn't treated its retail launches as aggressively as Apple and has just seven stores in the US and none abroad. Apple has over three hundred stores, most of which are in the US.

by MacNN Staff



  1. cwsmith

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'm shocked!

    Shocked, I say.

  1. thebiggfrogg

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Doh! Zoinks!

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Microsoft is trying to catch Apple customer

    runoff with a sieve. The way the Kinect is supposed be selling in such high numbers I'd figure that those Microsoft stores would be packed with consumers testing them out. Forget the Zune HD. Only the diehard Microsofties are going to be buying them. Microsoft is spending unnecessary money on its stores if it's not going to go all out to attract customers.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969



    ...they ran out of Miley Cyrus tickets?

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Joe05

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This is the silliest thing I've seen posted to date here yet.
    The Microsoft store here outside of Chicago seems to always
    Be busier than the Apple store around the way and that really
    Means nothing.

    The Microsoft stores are long term and not "PR" moves, and actually their much
    Nicer than the comparable Apple stores.

    You guys need to work a little harder on your content.

  1. cartoonspin

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Apple Stores consistently outperform any retail spot in a mall. Easily. "Actually their much nicer" Really, you need to work harder on your content since Apple is has been kicking but for their products during the Great Recession. Truly amazing as Microsoft continues to copy Apple hoping they can win at least one round. Apple continues to update their Stores on a regular basis. I couldn't get into mine this morning, there were just too many people.

    The reality is that you can purchase cheaper items at other places and sites than the Microsoft Store. This is not true with the Apple Store unless it is Black Friday, and even then the discounts are nominal. Keep in mind the products Microsoft sells are not Microsoft products. Only the software, xbox and zune are. That is the difference.

  1. sibeale1

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "Actually their much nicer"

    If you pay as much attention to your observations of store traffic as you do to your grammar, you'll never have any credibility.

  1. gor3don

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Talk about silly content.

    MSFT doesn't really think "long term". Their previous views of the internet and other technologies (eg. touch) doesn't really support that argument.

    While the MSFT stores themselves are pretty nice, what's inside is no comparison to Apple stores, let alone a Best Buy.

  1. Geoduck

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bad Study

    A sample of one MS and one Apple store at one mall on one day is not large enough to mean anything. While I'd love to see MS fail at another thing this isn't a large enough sample to establish any trends.

  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Some nice stores....

    are just great for visiting but not much for buying like the Discovery Store and The Nature Company... now they are all 99% gone. MS and Sony Stores are just one of them.

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