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  • We're outside Microsoft's new flagship store location on Oxford Circus in the center of London.

  • This is a famous shopping area lined with big brands, including Apple just down the street.

  • But when you think of Microsoft, it's probably software like Microsoft Office comes to mind, not exactly things you"d go buy on the main street.

  • So we're here to get a first look inside the store to see what it's all about.

  • Right away, you can tell Microsoft is trying to make this more than your regular electronics store.

  • It includes interactive video walls, a customized McLaren and a business center.

  • The store spans three floors and a total of 21,932 square feet, so it's pretty big.

  • It's the first of its kind in Europe, but there are similar flagship locations in Sydney and New York City.

  • One main purpose of flagship stores like these is to drive interest and buzz around the company, versus generating sales on the spot.

  • It's all about the experience.

  • Of course we want to sell stuff but that's not how we measure the success of the store.

  • So along with the demos and experiences, Microsoft is also showing off its growing list of devices.

  • The company made its name in software, but it's pushed into hardware in recent years.

  • For example, revenue from its Surface products increased 21% last quarter.

  • The Surface hardware that you see all throughout the store that's going to be a big, big seller.

  • There's no doubt a physical store is actually very good for choosing physical products and that's part of why we're here.

  • Besides targeting the general consumer, you can tell Microsoft is also trying to appeal to specific audiences, like gamers and professionals.

  • The HoloLens 2 headset is specifically aimed at businesses.

  • Meanwhile, this part of the store is clearly geared toward hardcore gamers.

  • Microsoft isn't the first tech company to emphasize the in-store retail experience.

  • Apple pioneered a new approach to retail stores in the early 2000s and was met with some skepticism.

  • Especially at a time when other established consumer electronics chains were struggling.

  • Now several tech companies have brick- and-mortar stores with an Apple feel including Chinese companies Xiaomi and Huawei.

  • Meanwhile, Amazon is also opening more storefronts including bookstores, cashier-less grocery stores and so-called 4-star stores for its most popular products.

  • Still there's no denying the popularity of online shopping has changed the business landscape for brick-and-mortar stores.

  • In total, a record 2,481 stores disappeared from Britain's top 500 high streets last year.

  • What we're seeing here is some of those big tech giants move into physical retail but they're being much more selective in where they want to be.

  • So, in primary locations like Oxford street, where there's sustainable levels of footfall.

  • And the experience is wider than just retail, is one of the crucial ingredients for success.

  • Consumers more and more want something meaningful when they go into the store.

  • And that can be about entertainment, about the environment, even about escapism.

  • And this is what Microsoft are really trying to create.

  • Some industry experts say the main street could soon be dominated by massive companies with the money to spend on flagship locations in prime districts.

  • Microsoft, which is one of the world's most valuable companies worth around $1 trillion, looks like one of them.

  • Hey everyone, it's Elizabeth here. Thanks so much for watching our video.

  • Let us know what you think in the comments section and leave us any other ideas there too.

  • See you later!

We're outside Microsoft's new flagship store location on Oxford Circus in the center of London.

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Microsoft first retail store in Europe

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    洪子雯 posted on 2019/07/10
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