Microsoft Store opens in Toronto Nov. 16

Microsoft Corp. is set to debut its first retail store in Canada with a location at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre opening its doors Nov. 16, the software giant announced yesterday.

The store will feature a range of Microsoft’s products from its video games line with Xbox and Kinect, to PCs loaded with Windows 7 (and presumably by November, Windows 8), and Windows Phone-based mobile handsets. Customers will have a retail experience where they can try before they buy, and ask friendly service representatives questions about Microsoft products.

The lineup outside a Microsoft Store opening in the U.S.

The outside of the store features a stylized version of Microsoft’s new corporate logo. The interior’s most notable feature is a huge video wall that is constantly active. Products are showcased on gleaming white countertops.

Microsoft’s move to construct its own retail space will give it opportunity to highlight its own hardware products, such as the Xbox and the recently announced Surface tablet. The stores are also likely inspired by competitor Apple Inc.’s success with  its own line of iconic retail stores, known for their transparent appearance thanks to largely-glass exteriors.

Video walls are the most distinctive feature in the stores.

Apple’s stores are known for outselling most other retailers per square-inch of floorspace. The stores average $40 million in revenue per year and have been hailed as the highest performing stores in the history of retailing.

Microsoft stores may be new to Canada, but there’s already a network of them across the United States. The first two stores opened the week of the Windows 7 launch in Scottsdale, Ariz. and Mission Viejo, Calif.

Source | Microsoft

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