Last fall, Microsoft debuted with two new retail lease storefronts, one in Scottsdale, AZ and one in Mission Viejo, CA.
This year, it looks like Denver, CO and Seattle, WA are in the works. According to an article written by the San Francisco Chronicle, the plans are being well received by the two communities.
Microsoft is looking to capture some marketshare from that of their rivals – Apple, Inc.. Apple has experienced great results from its retail locations, all 250 of them across the country. Now, MSFT has seen a little bit of light, and wants to get a portion of that marketshare. Although, Microsoft is the leader in retail computers, Apple is light years ahead in the mobile world and is planning on dominating that sector as well with the newly released iPad.
So, MSFT looks not only to take advantage of an economy on the rebound, but they are also taking advantage of the retail leasing market as well. Curiosity hit me a bit when I read this article, namely because a giant corporation like Microsoft is expanding its brand via retail locations, and because retail leases are dirt cheap right now. Does this mean that Microsoft knows a thing or two about the real estate market? I think so. They can see a bit of the future too(that is what I think about people who are extremely weathly – time travelers!).
Microsoft has seen tremendous upside to their business, there is no doubt about that, but do they think (or know) that the bottom of the market has hit? That is the million dollar question. Do they have the answer?
I think that you will start to see other retailers take this lead and go forth with expansion plans, rather that waiting for a true shift in business economy.
Let me know if you feel the same way, or not!