Microsoft’s new flagship retail space with the exclusive 5th Avenue address in Manhattan does not disappoint. Before you even walk in the glass façade you’re greeted by a massive HD display above the doors running a hypnotically modern version of a screensaver. It’s a clever optical illusion that gives the space a modern and “techy” feeling while still fitting the sophistication of the premium address.
Inside the store, there is little doubt that Microsoft has lifted some of the best retail strategies from the Apple Store just blocks away. The open floor plan is full of large display benches (featuring 2-4 demo devices) allowing scores of people to jockey for position around the latest Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, Microsoft Band 2, and Lumia 950 XL.
The second floor is not as packed with people (probably because they don’t know you can go upstairs)…but if you want to check out Microsoft’s gaming options, take the steps (or elevator) up one flight to discover the Xbox systems and gaming options – there is even a giant Surface Display you can try out just off the elevator (that most people walk by without noticing) that will give you a taste of what this enterprise hardware can do.
The entire space feels refined and focused and is sure to be a tourist destination for Microsoft Fans visiting the Big City. In its first week, the store is buzzing with excitement and energy; but only time will tell if the big crowds and excitement will continue to define this new location.