Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and COO Kevin Turner want to ramp up their battle against Apple in the retail space and open even more stores than the Mac, iPhone and iPad maker. Currently, customers can visit 300 Apple stores compared to Microsoft’s eight.
Microsoft Store staff getting jiggy with it
Mr. Ballmer is already working on closing that gap — sort of. The Redmond-based company has two more stores planned right now, one in Seattle and the other in Atlanta, according to Business Insider.
Despite the efforts of Mr. Ballmer and Mr. Turner, Microsoft won’t likely increase the rate of store openings any time soon because those retail locations are expensive to build and operate. In fact, Microsoft’s retail stores are so expensive that most apparently don’t turn a profit.
Unlike Apple Stores that are seen by consumers as the first place to go for Macs, iPhones and iPods, Microsoft’s stores are just another in a long list of retailers offering Windows PCs from a variety of manufacturers. Microsoft’s store designs mimic Apple’s, but it seems that isn’t enough to draw in enough customers to make money.
While Microsoft is playing conservative with its retail expansion — much to the chagrin of Mr. Ballmer and Mr. Turner — Apple is continuing to open new stores around the world. Apple even has job listings for a second Utah store set to open in Fashion Place Mall.
For now, shoppers looking to visit a Microsoft Store will have to travel to Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, or Washington.