Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has announced a strategic partnership with Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY). Under the partnership, the two would create a store-within-a-store concept for Microsoft. On its blog, Microsoft said the Windows Store only at Best Buy would open up within 500 different Best Buy locations around the U.S. and also 100 Best Buy and Future Shop stores in Canada.
Details On Microsoft’s New Stores In Best Buy
According to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s announcement, the stores will be between 1,500 and 2,200 square feet in size and offer consumers the opportunity to try, compare and purchase a broad range of Microsoft products and accessories. The company will include Windows tablets and PCs, Windows Phones, Microsoft’s Office software, Xbox, and just about every other product the company sells.
Microsoft’s blog includes an interview with Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela. He said that unlike most of the other store-in-a-store concepts, this one will include “a department-level takeover” inside Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) stores. He said they will also be much larger than most other boutique stores.
Microsoft Builds On The Windows Experience
Capossela said there will be “an additional 1,200 staff” working in the Windows Stores only at Best Buy shops. He said even though they’re calling the concept shops by this name, it “goes well beyond the computing department.”
He said there would also be Microsoft products in Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY)’s other product areas. For example, the store’s tablet section would still have Windows tablets in it, and its gaming department would still have a space for Xbox. According to Capossela, they are essentially trying to create a “big Windows experience” where everything is brought together but also include Microsoft products throughout the store as well.
One of the most interesting areas Capossela mentions is an ecosystem section, which he said will show off real-life scenarios in the use of Windows products. Xbox SmartGlass, SkyDrive and other products will be integrated in a way that can easily be demonstrated to customers.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) said it would also extend its partnership to the Best Buy website as well. The new Windows Stores are expected to begin opening at Best Buy stores late this month through September.
Best Buy’s Partnership With Samsung
Microsoft’s store isn’t the first shop-within-a-shop at Best Buy stores. The company partnered with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) earlier this year to create boutique shops, although they are significantly smaller in size than the Windows stores will be. The Samsung Experience Shops are only about 460 square feet in size.