Microsoft to open stores inside Best Buys

Microsoft Corp. will expand its retail reach by opening hundreds of stores inside Best Buy locations across the U.S.

The Redmond tech giant announced the new partnership with the electronics retailer Thursday, saying the Windows Store will give Microsoft more ways to showcase its devices to customers.

Earlier this year, rival Samsung teamed up with Best Buy to open 1,400 Samsung Experience Shops.

Although Microsoft will be opening fewer stores than Samsung — 500 in the U.S. and 100 in Canada — the Windows Store will be much bigger than Samsung shops, which vary in size but are no bigger than 460 square feet. Microsoft’s stores will be at least 1,500 square feet and as large as 2,200 square feet, according to the company.

“Unlike a lot of store-within-a-store concepts, this will actually be a department-level takeover within Best Buy stores,” said Chris Capossela, Microsoft’s chief marketing officer.

In total, Microsoft and Best Buy will add 1,200 employees to staff the new stores.

Microsoft said each store would feature tables showcasing the latest PCs and laptops as well as the company’s Surface tablet. The back wall of the stores will be used for software and accessories, and there will also be an “ecosystem section” that will show Windows devices used in real-life scenarios.

The company already operates standalone Microsoft Stores across North America. Capossela said the new Windows Stores will give the company another opportunity to reach customers.

“We ultimately feel this is another great channel to offer a superior experience for the millions of customers who rely on Best Buy to purchase their PCs,” he said.

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