Microsoft explains why they chose London for their first European flagship store


15, 2019

In case you missed it, Microsoft unveiled their flagship retail store last week; but some of our readers questioned Microsoft’s choice of London, expressing concerns that Brexit may make it a less than ideal location.

Microsoft assures us that they had thought very deeply about their decision, with the speed of technological innovation in London also playing a big role.

“There are very few locations in the world that feature all the different parts that make up what Microsoft is. The early adoption of technology in the UK has been very impressive. That’s important when the company is thinking about what investments to make and where to make them. This flagship would not be in London if we didn’t have a very strong commercial business in this country. We thought very deeply about this.”

Microsoft’s Chief Marketing Officer, Chris Capossela, further justified their decision, with London being “hard to beat”, and that “very few locations in the world” are as appealing as the UK capital.

“Around 86 million people pass through Oxford Circus every year,” he said. “That’s hard to beat. London is also an incredibly diverse city, so we can serve lots of different customers here; it’s a very pan-European city.

To accommodate the cosmopolitan society that is London, the store is fully equipped with 150 Store Associates, who boast the ability to speak an impressive 45 different languages; including British Sign Language.

The staff are a mix of ages, genders, ethnicities and abilities, and had all gone through six weeks of training to “deliver our customer-obsessed culture”

Being the most inclusive Microsoft store yet, accessibility-friendly low desks, door opening buttons and Xbox adaptive controllers can be found inside.  Not only that, but Microsoft are donating £1 million to UK Youth, Raspberry Pi Foundation and the London Commmunity Foundation; charities which provide the opportunity for disadvantaged young people to learn digital skills.  Additionally, the charities support grass-roots community groups in Westminster with digital and employability skills.

“I’m excited about this donation because it’s going to give these charities the opportunity to have even more of an impact across the UK. We are also auctioning 10 limited edition Surface devices designed by British retailer Liberty London, with all proceeds going to gaming charity SpecialEffect, which helped develop the Xbox Adaptive Controller.”

Microsoft UK CEO, Cindy Rose, reminisces on the journey to the opening of the store, “this has been a three-year labour of love for me. During my Microsoft job interview [in 2016] I remember discussing the need for a Microsoft retail store in London. That’s how long I’ve been thinking about this and planning it. I feel like that part of the jigsaw is now complete”.

“What I love most about this flagship is that it’s so much more than just a shopping experience. It is a destination where we can engage with local community to bring our mission to life. Whether it’s teaching kids to code, training educators on how to use tech in the classroom, or showing small businesses and large enterprises how we can help digitally transform their organisation, this store will be the best place to experience all that’s possible with Microsoft.”

Capossela added to this, stressing that it’s ““really important for us to have a place that people can walk into and experience Microsoft,” further emphasising that the store will appeal to every type of customer.

“I want all our stores to have a Microsoft vibe, be very colourful, human and approachable”, “these are the things we want our brand to stand for. The London flagship has some special experiences. I feel very lucky that we have found a space as good as Oxford Circus in London.”

Source: Microsoft 

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}