The following post is from Jonathan Adashek, General Manager, Communications Strategy, Sales Marketing Services Group, Microsoft. It was originally published on The Fire Hose.
It’s been another significant year for Microsoft retail stores, and we’re proud to continue to offer our customers the choice, value and service they have come to expect from our stores. Over the past 12 months, we opened 35 stores and now have 83 full-line and specialty stores open across North America. We have welcomed more than 362 million customers to our full-line, specialty and online Microsoft Store properties in more than 200 markets worldwide.
This year the Microsoft retail stores played an exciting role in showcasing the next generation of devices and services including, the Nokia Lumia 1020 and 1520 Windows Phones, Surface 2, Xbox One, Office 365 and Windows 8.1 laptops, ultrabooks, convertibles and all-in-ones. Our store teams continued the momentum by creating special opportunities for our customers to learn about the future of technology through a variety of events and workshops, including free summer camps, first looks at the MakerBot 3D printer, midnight product launches for Surface 2 and Xbox One, as well as workshops demonstrating new ways to create holiday gifts using technology.
At every Microsoft retail store, our top priority is to provide great customer service by engaging each customer about how technology can enable their full potential. That’s why at the heart of the Microsoft retail stores is the Answer Desk, where our store associates offer free services and support on all software and hardware regardless of brand or where it was purchased.
In addition, our store associates remain committed to making a difference within their communities through collaboration with local community organizations, volunteer work and in-store workshops and events. Whether an organization is interested in tech training or a customer wants to celebrate their child’s birthday, our theater space remains free to use for the local community.
While this year was an exciting year for the Microsoft retail stores, we are committed to pushing forward and building more individual relationships with our customers. Therefore, we’re thrilled to start off the New Year by announcing the locations of our first three new stores for 2014:
· Square One Shopping Centre, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
· Westfarms, Farmington, Conn.
· Westfield Garden State Plaza, Paramus, N.J.
We will continue to extend a majority of our specialty store locations into the New Year, while also transitioning some of those specialty stores into permanent full-line stores given the great success we’ve had with them.
Here’s to a happy New Year and good shopping in 2014!