The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft has confirmed plans to open its first flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, just blocks away from Apple’s flagship Fifth Avenue “glass cube” store.
“As our first flagship store, it will serve as the centerpiece of our Microsoft Stores experience,” said David Porter, corporate vice president for Microsoft retail stores. “This is a goal we’ve had since day one—we were only waiting for the right location. And now we have it.”
Microsoft began opening its own retail stores in 2009, and currently has 104 stores in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Competitor Apple currently has 254 stores in the U.S.
The new store will be located at 677 Fifth Avenue, in what is currently a Fendi outlet. The storefront sits in the midst of a high-end shopping area, several blocks south of Apple’s Fifth Avenue location. The area boasts some of the highest retail rents in Manhattan, averaging rent of $2,749 a square foot as of the second quarter.
Microsoft has been playing catchup with Apple ever since the Redmond firm decided to emulate the Cupertino company by opening its own retail stores. Microsoft’s stores typically offer Desktop and laptop PCs running the latest flavor of Windows, tablets and smartphones, and Xbox consoles and accessories.
This will be the first full-sized Microsoft retail store in Manhattan. The company has specialty stores, which are smaller than the full-sized version, at The Shops at Columbus Circle and the Staten Island Mall.