Best Buy, Microsoft to Bow Windows Store13 Jun, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Partnership follows similar deal between No. 1 consumer electronics retailer and Samsung for branded in-store departments
Best Buy Co. and Microsoft June 13 said they are partnering to roll out Windows Store at select Best Buy locations. The Windows-branded store-within-a-store will initially be offered in 500 Best Buy locations across the United States and in more than 100 Best Buy and Future Shop locations in Canada.
Best Buy, which has been criticized for operating inefficient showrooms that benefit online competitors, is seeking to use its expansive retail footprint in co-op relationships with select CE brands, while promising to match any competitive online pricing.
Ranging in size from 1,500 square feet to 2,200 square feet, the Windows Store will allow consumers to get hands-on access to a range of products, including Windows-based tablets and PCs, Windows phones, Microsoft Office and Xbox One (when it launches).
Each store will highlight a variety of Windows scenarios across devices; a showcase section with the latest Windows-based PC form factors such as ultrabooks, convertibles, detachables and all-in-ones — including portable devices; and a standalone area featuring Microsoft Surface.
“The Windows Store offers a large-scale, hands-on customer experience that will show customers how Windows and Microsoft devices and services can make it easier for them to work and play,” Tami Reller, chief marketing officer and CFO of the Windows Division at Microsoft, said in a statement.
The alliance will add more than 1,200 Best Buy Microsoft-trained sales associates throughout the branded store locations.
The partnership mirrors a similar deal between Best Buy and Samsung that is rolling out branded storefronts in select Best Buy locations.