Microsoft’s first Europe store opens on Thursday. The company is aiming to boost its physical footprint and surpass other tech companies that are providing special in-store experiences for users.
Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela said the store will be located in Oxford Circus, central London, just down the street from Apple’s original London store. Microsoft already has two flagship stores in Sydney and New York City.
Three-floor flagship the software giant will showcase technology such as Xbox games and Surface tablets as well as augmented reality and LinkedIn masterclasses.
Microsoft is expanding their physical presence to enhance online sales as competition continues among all tech companies. In February Chinese tech giant Xiaomi revealed its plan to triple its European store count by the end of 2019. Last year, Amazon announced its plan to open 3,000 cashier-less stores by 2021
Richard Lim, CEO of research firm Retail Economics said that all tech companies are working on offering unique in-store experiences to customers.
Lim said, “Primary locations like Oxford Street, where there’s sustainable levels of footfall, where the experience is much more than retail, is one of the crucial ingredients for success.”
Cindy Rose, CEO of Microsoft U.K., said that the company’s new store includes an Xbox gaming room, a digital classroom, a customized McLaren, and meeting rooms for enterprise clients.
“The Surface hardware that you see all throughout the store, that’s going to be a big seller,” Capossela said. “There’s no doubt that a physical store is actually very good for choosing physical products and that’s part of why we’re here.”