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Microsoft Businesses

Best Buy To Carve Out Space For Microsoft Stores 214

Posted by timothy
from the I-notice-you-like-windows dept.
UnknowingFool writes "Best Buy and Microsoft will launch 600 Microsoft stores within Best Buy retail locations in a store-within-a-store concept. The Microsoft stores will occupy 1500-2000 sq ft within each location. The terms of the deal are not announced, but I assume it benefits both as Best Buy would likely charge rent to help with declining revenue. For Microsoft, they may get cheaper facilities than building their own stores. The last I heard, MS had a very ambitious plan to launch hundreds of stores a year. I have doubts about the success of this venture, considering anecdotally almost every MS store I've seen in my travels was nearly empty. Since they all were located near Apple stores, the stark difference in foot traffic was apparent. The only exception was the MS store near Redmond, which had a decent crowd."
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Best Buy To Carve Out Space For Microsoft Stores

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  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @04:21PM (#44000279)
    "Best Buy ... Microsoft" - mmm, how subtle.
    • No that's good. Now you'll be able to look across the isle to see who's getting the most traffic.
    • by TWiTfan (2887093)

      With BestBuny now hosting Apple stores, Samsung stores, Microsoft stores, and god knows how many more; I'm wondering if there will be any space left for me to just buy the goddamned blu-ray movie and ink cartridge that I came for.

      • by idontgno (624372) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @04:48PM (#44000677) Journal

        Actually, I see the opportunity for armed border skirmishes betwen mutually hostile enclaves of corporate territory under a single roof as a great opportunity to sell popcorn.

        "Best Buy... the Balkans right in your neighborhood!"

      • by binarylarry (1338699) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @04:57PM (#44000797)

        Haha you shop at BestBuy!

        Everyone point and laugh!

        BTW Would you like to buy a service plan with that ink cartridge or movie?

      • by hawguy (1600213)

        With BestBuny now hosting Apple stores, Samsung stores, Microsoft stores, and god knows how many more; I'm wondering if there will be any space left for me to just buy the goddamned blu-ray movie and ink cartridge that I came for.

        Just buy them from Amazon instead. I haven't set foot in a Best Buy in years. Based on the number of times my parents visit the store (they bought their digital camera, a laptop and a tablet there), BestBuy must cater to an older demographic and once that demographic fades away, I'm not sure who will shop at BB.

        • they are still usefull if you need to pick up a monitor cable or power cord and can't wait for next day delivery.

          • by peragrin (659227)

            The problem is is that you can order a cable and pay for next day air shipping and it will still be less expensive than buying it from best buy.

            Seriously take a look at their HDMI cables sometimes. a $5 cable goes for $50 and that's the cheap version.

            • The little stuff is their profit center. Sometimes Best Buy has some attractive deals on consumer electronics. (Or at least they had in days gone by. Been a while.) So, say, you just got a great deal on the TV or the PC. The sales guy suggests you throw in a patch cable or two -- even generic ones. A power cord. A surge protector. All this crap is marked up to the stratosphere, but you don't think about it because you are so chuffed with the steal you just got on the big ticket item. But check. Two dollar

              • by Grishnakh (216268) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @09:03PM (#44002919)

                I once paid nearly twenty dollars for a Sansa data cable (Don't ask. My wife was involved.)

                I think wives are a big reason Best Buy is still around.

                My wife wanted a laptop several years ago; I wanted to get one off the internet, but she didn't want to wait for shipping. So off to Best Buy we went, even though I hated that store. We got a demo unit that worked fine in the store, but a day or two after we got it home, the monitor started acting flaky. So we brought it back, and they refused to take it as a defective return (because when they looked at it, it was working fine), but only as a return/refund. But because it had some software I had installed on it, they wanted to charge some ridiculous fee for Geek Squad to uninstall the software so they could resell it (seriously: instead of wiping and reinstalling, they were going to just resell the machine as-is. I could have installed keyloggers or other malware for the next customer to be victimized by). So I had to stand there and uninstall it myself to avoid this fee. Then, while I was in the middle of this process, the monitor finally gave out completely; when they saw that, they went ahead and refunded our money on the spot, but the experience was an ordeal.

                After that, my wife swore off ever buying from Best Buy again, and let me buy a laptop from Newegg.

            • by mallyn (136041)
              If you are in the Portland, Oregon area; may I please suggest you look at Free Geek for cables and stuff? Their thrift store has a pretty good selection of stuff and it's cheaper then BB or Amazon. I buy the wall-warts that need for my lighted sculptures there. Another place, but it requires more diligence in hunting, is the Goodwill outlet store; the one that us locals call 'The Bins'
      • by tipo159 (1151047)

        With BestBuny now hosting Apple stores, Samsung stores, Microsoft stores, and god knows how many more; I'm wondering if there will be any space left for me to just buy the goddamned blu-ray movie and ink cartridge that I came for.

        That is what I was wondering. At the local Best Buy, the new Samsung store takes up a bunch of space and displaced a bunch of stuff, squeezing that stuff into a smaller area with less selection now. Doing that again to fit in a Microsoft store means that more stuff is gonna get squeezed and selection reduced and makes it less likely I will go to Best Buy.

        • At my local store, the durable goods are doing most of the crowding out. I suppose Amazon can't compete on gas ovens. They've gotten rid of a lot of the bluray/dvd backstock, it's comparable to what the Target next door has.

  • by mevets (322601) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @04:21PM (#44000287)

    Away from the maddening crowds.

    • by cod3r_ (2031620)
      HAHA.. good 1. I do agree though it seems as though best buy wants to go out of business.
  • Windows 9? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AuralityKev (1356747) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @04:21PM (#44000291)
    Now they just need a decent product to sell in that store-within-a-store.
    • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @04:22PM (#44000301)
      Sounds like a good place to sell Hyper-V to me.
    • by MiniMike (234881) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @04:37PM (#44000507)

      Since it's in BB, I'm guessing the profit will come from extended warranties and $35 deluxe DVD cases.

      • by Synerg1y (2169962)

        Fail,

        Buy a bestbuy machine, load is w MS software, profiting both sellers. I'd imagine most best buy employees aren't as good at selling M$ as M$ is.

        Your statement applies to what Best Buy already has, this won't affect it.

      • by TWiTfan (2887093)

        Hey, you're going to need a Monster HDMI cable with that new Xbox. With gold-plated connectors and oxygenated wiring, it really makes the picture look its best!

    • Zune RT?
    • Re:Windows 9? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by David_Hart (1184661) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @04:46PM (#44000653)

      Now they just need a decent product to sell in that store-within-a-store.

      Xbox One + Accessories
      Surface + Accessories
      Nokia Smart Phones

      There, I've given you three decent products. Argue all you want about flaws and capabilities but they are still solid products that will meet the needs of 90% of their users (i.e. non-geeks). If you meant a blockbuster product.... well... that's a different story....

      • Re:Windows 9? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @06:24PM (#44001679) Journal

        Xbox One + Accessories
        Surface + Accessories
        Nokia Smart Phones

        He said "decent". It also helps if they exist and are for sale.

        Seriously...
        The first isn't even RTM yet (and the gamers are currently screaming about how they're all gonna buy PS4s because of the stupid DRM).
        The second? Which one? The one that can actually run "my Windows software", or the one whose screen/UI looks just like it but doesn't run "my Windows software"?
        The third? Okay, maybe, if it didn't have to compete with those massive Android and iOS ecosystems.

  • Two slowly sinking ships tying together to make a barge? I don't see this relationship really lasting, but then again Best Buy and MS both have to make some hefty changes in order to stay in business long term. Maybe this will give them the time they need?

    • by MiniMike (234881)

      ...Best Buy and MS both have to make some hefty changes in order to stay in business long term.

      Are you saying that Microsoft itself is in need of a reboot?

      Seems quite fitting.

      • by s.petry (762400)

        I am pretty sure a good number of people have been making that statement for a very long time. Xbox finally became a viable money maker. Now however, Indy games and tablets are all over the place and consoles are not as exciting as they used to be. Add to that, the always on DRM and how many customers that will piss off (in addition to not being able to play old/used games at least to some extent) and they may no longer be profitable after the next release. Win8 is a disaster, and no matter how much mon

    • Don't be so pessimistic. That's what people said about Sears/K-Mart. I'm not saying it's not a really, really bad idea. I'm just saying don't be pessimistic in general. You know, generally.
      • I don't see why is this such a really, really bad idea? Yes both companies have a history of sucking but if Microsoft wants to move more into consumer electronics and have its own stores, this seems like a quick and low cost way to do it as opposed to starting from scratch.

  • by intermodal (534361) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @04:24PM (#44000335) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft seems to have this strange idea that their name carries as much weight as Apple's in the public eye. People go to the Apple Store because Apple knows their products inside-out and in the eyes of their customers, the products sell themselves.

    Microsoft, on the other hand, has users that use their products because they think they have to, and has no way to match Apple's ability to offer the entire current Apple world under one small roof.

    If Microsoft wants to be the company that people are excited to see what their new product will be, they've got a long way to go towards repairing their image. They'll have to become an innovative company that brings new things to the table. And no, I don't mean support for new things that someone announced something just like it months or years ago.

    • The details of the deal were not disclosed. Is the MicroSoft stand going to draw customers to BestBuy, or the other way around? Is it a synergistic cross pollination that will better service consumer desire?

      It appears MicroSoft now have to sublet the non-Apple section of the Best Buy computer department. That and a bunch of PR drivel.

      • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot.worf@net> on Thursday June 13, 2013 @06:19PM (#44001639)

        The details of the deal were not disclosed. Is the MicroSoft stand going to draw customers to BestBuy, or the other way around? Is it a synergistic cross pollination that will better service consumer desire?

        It appears MicroSoft now have to sublet the non-Apple section of the Best Buy computer department. That and a bunch of PR drivel.

        Quite possibly it'll help bring higher end PCs to Best Buy. If you go there, you'll find a stunningly large number of people still go to best buy and purchases PCs there. Then look at what they sell - cheap ass $500 and below PCs make up the vast majority of what's on display, and what isn't, is basically because they're Apple Macs.

        The Ultrabooks have helped somewhat, at least to bring higher end machines in.

        Microsoft does however bring in something good - and that's the "Microsoft Premium PC" - basically it's to PCs what Nexus is to Android - a clean, fast Windows experience that has no trial crap and other stuff (even using tools like PC Decrapifier doesn't quite get rid of everything), and clean restore discs and everything (nothing's worse than having to reinstall and just getting the crap back).

        But what's happening is Best Buy is actually evolving - they know most of their traffic is showrooming traffic, so they're evolving into being THE showroom. They know they can't compete with Amazon and other online retailers, so they don't. They'll take payments of rent from manufacturers who get to show off their stuff and people come in to look (with perhaps a small amount for those who really need it now), and let Amazon etc., fight for the actual sale. Because really, Best Buy has an existing network of stores that no manufacturer, not even Apple, can hope to match, but to whom bring in enough customers who want to look at stuff before they buy. Plus they can bring out the latest and greatest ASAP for show - it's up to the manufacturers to ship the demos ahead of time.

        That I think is what is happening. The first three tenants are Apple, Samsung and Microsoft. But soon others will want in. Bonus points if the manufacturers can even handle returns and exchanges on the spot instead of obnoxiously complex return and exchange procedures (which can be nasty - like warranty exchanges require shipping to some warehouse in China - even if your product is DOA).

    • by gtall (79522)

      MS has a bigger problem; too many people have horror stories involving their software. That's the reason they cannot sell phones, people see the MS moniker and the old hobgoblins from their PCs start keening at them from beyond the grave.

      • by Jeng (926980)

        My brother has an old Win phone, due to his experiences with it I see that MS had a long ways to go to make a good product.

        My little sister bought a new Win phone (which she already returned), due to her experiences with it I see that MS still did not make a good product.

        So it isn't just peoples experience with MS's desktop software, it is also their experience with their phones that makes people not want to buy their phones.

        • by amiga3D (567632)

          I know a guy that owns a windows phone and he likes it. Interestingly enough he bought a zune when they came out and loved it. I took one look at the phone and told him I preferred my straight talk flip phone.

    • by Dracos (107777)

      If Microsoft wants to be the company that people are excited to see what their new product will be

      The high point of their reputation was either in 1995 or 2001. Ballmer isn't helping, he's just a bean counter that couldn't make an informed technical, UI, or workflow decision if there was a gun to his head. Their other major problem is they are still hell bent on deciding what their users want, rather than finding out what that is up front. Zune, Kin, Windows CE/Mobile/Phone, Vista, Win 8, Win RT, Surface

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Microsoft seems to have this strange idea that their name carries as much weight as Apple's in the public eye. People go to the Apple Store because Apple knows their products inside-out and in the eyes of their customers, the products sell themselves.

      Well MS wouldn't be wrong, but they seem to be following Apple's example, since Apple is now getting an "apple section" inside walmart stores.

  • This is going to be fun to watch!
  • Yo dawg (Score:5, Funny)

    by BitwizeGHC (145393) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @04:27PM (#44000369) Homepage

    I heard you like electronics stores so we put an electronics store in an electronics store so you can impulse-buy while you're impulse-buying.

    I'm waiting for the Starbucks inside the Microsoft Store inside the Best Buy.

  • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @04:28PM (#44000379)

    A couple weeks ago, I walked by a Microsoft store. First time I'd seen one. It looked nice and peaceful, a respite from the crowds of shoppers outside.

    • A couple weeks ago, I walked by a Microsoft store. First time I'd seen one. It looked nice and peaceful, a respite from the crowds of shoppers outside.

      Yeah, I walked into one, once. The salesman immediately tried to get me to dance in front of a Kinect. The results gathered more of a crowd than the Kinect ever could. I'm not sure what this says more about... that white girls can't dance, or that Kinects just aren't that interesting.

    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      I don't know what's with these comments about MS stores being empty. While I wish it were true, every time I walked past the giant MS store in the Scottsdale mall in Arizona, it had quite a lot of people in it, plus people playing on the Kinect system in front of it. And when Surface was being released, there was a long line of hipsters standing outside waiting to buy one.

      Maybe Arizonans are just idiots.... but then again, now I live in northern NJ and the MS store near here isn't exactly empty either.

  • Evil empire, meet evil empire...!
  • by cashman73 (855518) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @04:30PM (#44000421) Journal
    I think this is clearly a sign that the old "Big Box" stores of the 90s and 00s are on the way out. Best Buy is slowly realizing that they'll never be able to compete with Amazon on price, and they don't want to serve as Amazon's showroom, where customers check out the products and head online to actually buy it. But they realize this trend, and how Apple can have a showroom in their Apple stores, and not care if someone ultimately buys it in the Apple store or on Apple.com (or even an Apple product in Best Buy) -- Apple gets paid either way. So by teaming with Microsoft to get them to put a store inside their store, they get to charge them rent, and Microsoft gets paid whether the customer buys the Microsoft product in the store or later on online. I'd almost expect Best Buy to do this with other companies, like having a Sony Store inside, which would ultimately effectively make Best Buy a "mini-mall" of electronics instead of a stand-alone store competing against amazon and walmart (two companies that are difficult to compete against). Microsoft could be a guinea pig here.
    • they get to charge them rent

      Don't most Big Box stores charge manufacturers for shelf space already? I'm not saying I dislike your idea, just wondering what the difference would be in the case of a Sony, with the giant TV's and stereo components (vs. a Microsoft where the rent would likely increase for more floor space).

    • The journalist Jeff Jarvis has made the same suggestion - that big stores switch from being the place where people buy product into showrooms where people examine product, and then have the freedom to buy it right there or go home and order it. If Best Buy, Sears, etc... did that, and maybe added a Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks Kiosk, maybe some of their locations could be profitable for years to come.

      But I don't think that's enough to support their entire business model. I don't think Microsoft, Samsung,
      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        I live very close to a gigantic Home Depot store, and they actually do have a Dunkin' Donuts store inside.

    • by ADRA (37398)

      Well now that Amazon basically has to charge taxes on their sales where appropriate, the boundary between the two is shrinking. Of course Amazon is still ahead and it means that Best Buy actually has to compete head to head.

      I'd love to see a business who's pure existence is to give manufacturers a central drop point in towns (reducing their own shipping costs) while allowing for a small amount of store space which can be bought by internet sellers who want some form of physical marketing space.

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        With Best Buy's high prices on larger items, and astronomical prices on accessories, having to pay sales tax on Amazon and Newegg purchases isn't going to drive people back to BB.

    • Actually an electronics minimall actually sounds like an appealing idea and something that I might find interesting to look at if I was near a Best Buy.

    • Oh, you're right. They are dying. Circuit City was proof of that.

      Not sure if Microsoft is paying for floorspace. More likely they're providing sales staff working on the Microsoft payroll who were trained by Microsoft trainers. Commission is probably not paid on their sales, either... Best Buy keeps the commission that they would have otherwise paid to their own hourly sales associate.
  • Makes sense... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @04:33PM (#44000459)

    They did a similar thing for Apple. I don't know why BestBuy changing its floor plan is newsworthy.

    Next thing you know they may have a game section with all the Xbox related stuff separated from the Playstation and Wii stuff, or better yet have a mobile phone store within a store... oh wait.

    • by bmo (77928)

      >They did a similar thing for Apple. I don't know why BestBuy changing its floor plan is newsworthy.

      I think it's newsworthy because it's taken them so long to understand this concept.

      Before the BB "Apple store within a store," Apple had its own "stores" in outlets like CompUSA and such. We're talking at least 15-18 years of this sort of thing that Apple has been doing (as far as I can remember going into CompUSA anyway), and it's just *now* that Microsoft is doing it.

      Late to the game/dollar short/whate

      • by puto (533470)
        Actually, there was no need back then for a store because you could only buy an OS, a keyboard, Office, or a joytstick. Apple sold their own hardware. If you want to compare Apples to Apples. Now Microsoft sells hardware. The Xbox, Tablets, Kinect, phones, so they have a more viable hardware market than they used to. Hardware that would benefit with a rep there.
    • They did a similar thing for Apple.

      Sort of. The problem with the Apple stores-within-a-store were that the sales people had no idea what an Apple product was. If you came in looking for a PowerBook, they'd show you a Dell. "This one's cheaper." Since BestBuy already has staff familiar with Windows/PCs, this should work better. On the other hand, how many products does Microsoft actually sell to consumers that do not come bundled with their PCs already? Maybe they plan on selling a lot of mice. God know people aren't buying their table

      • I'm not convinced that the "Microsoft Store" will be any better. It may be better for a short while, but soon the mini-store will be manned with the same retail people that couldn't answer a simply question about a HP laptop.
  • by cruff (171569) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @04:37PM (#44000519)

    I have doubts about the success of this venture, considering anecdotally almost every MS store I've seen in my travels was nearly empty. Since they all were located near Apple stores, the stark difference in foot traffic was apparent. The only exception was the MS store near Redmond, which had a decent crowd."

    Probably local MS employees being forced to get a hand stamp by a physical visit to that MS store to get their paychecks. Thus MS can point to at least one store with a high foot traffic.

  • Apple beat MS with the store concept years ago.

    After tiring of poor quality MS products and the upgrade treadmill, I switched to Apple computers.

    It is only fitting that a MS store can be found within a store whose primary trademark color - BLUE - is the same as the MS "BSOD"
  • Personally, I don't like the store-within-a-store concept. Reminds me too much of an American hospital.

  • My last encounter with Best Buy was horrible. Ordered a neo-geo system online; BB sent a cheap printer instead. Then I went to the store to return it and had to wait 30 minutes to be told that "wrong items sent from the online store can't be returned in store."

  • by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @05:09PM (#44000949)

    Best Buy is turning into a shopping mall itself.

  • by Richy_T (111409) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @05:16PM (#44001033) Homepage

    Will it come with tumbleweeds like the Apple section?

  • MS has what, a phone, 2 tablets, Xbox and little boxes of Windows and Office. No one buys the phones or tablets, much of the software is downloaded (both legally and not) and the Xboxes will likely remain with the rest of the games. Since the consoles and hardware are usually the same price everywhere, many people stop by a gamestop to grab their games and skip the trip to the mall. For me, it's faster to order from newegg or amazon than to goto best buy. If I want something, it usually takes me 3 or 4 day
  • by PPH (736903) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @05:42PM (#44001283)

    ... Dante is adding another circle to Hell.

  • Lol, wut?

    Not sure about the rest of the crowd, but everything past Windows 7, and pretty much everything not-PC Microsoft does except Xbox is really not good.

    Also, whats with 4+ platforms? Win, Winarm, XBOX, Surface, WinPhone? Talk about fragmentation.

    IMHO, Windows 8 is the most serious UI regression I've ever seen.

  • Well, of course it had a decent crowd.

    Where else can the employees use their coupons for their dog food?

  • ...back in the early 00's. We had the RCA wall, the MSN kiosk, specific space for Verizon, Sprint, and Tracfone... Very little of the store was left for what made Radio Shack Radio Shack. Since then they've taken some of the shelf and floor space back, but very little is Radio Shack's own shit, and it doesn't matter anyways because they don't hire anyone who has a fuckin' clue anyhow.

    I guess thinking about it, Best Buy is already most of the way there, so fuck it, why not further marginalize themselves by g

  • If "carve out space" means they're going to put the store in an asteroid, I'm all for it!

  • Microsoft opened a store today (13 June 2013) in Honolulu's Ala Moana Shopping Center (I skipped on going to the opening ceremonies). There is also an Apple store in the same shopping center. Alas, I haven't heard of any plans for a Linux store :)
  • They deserve each other

  • Surely Microsoft is aware of their own foot traffic counts (hint: you can't count your own employees, Microsoft. Just sayin') and it doesn't take any effort to count feet at Best Buy. Both numbers are low, in my unprofessional anecdotal observations. Shoppers leaving both stores empty-handed are also rather high.

    The last time I was in a Best Buy was the first Saturday and Monday in December. Just a few weeks before Christmas, the store was almost entirely empty of shoppers except for the mobile phone

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