Microsoft is finally putting retail roots down in London.
The company reported on Friday that they’re launching a brand new London flagship store in the city’s popular Regent Street shopping avenue in Oxford Circus. The new store will be just a short mouse throw away from Apple’s London flagship, also on the same street. On Friday, that store hosted the somewhat occasionally-attended iPhone 8 retail launch.
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With approximately 100 stores in four countries across the globe, Microsoft trails far behind Apple’s nearly 500 retail locations. Even so, the company has a keen interest in opening multipurpose, upscale venues as close as possible to existing Apple Stores. In New York City, Microsoft’s first flagship store on Fifth Avenue is just a short walk from Apple’s iconic, glass cube (currently under renovation) on Fifth Ave.
“We know our customers and fans, whether they are from London, the broader U.K. or just visiting, will love our bold plans for the space,” Microsoft UK head Cindy Rose said in a release.
“This will be so much more than just a great place to experience all that is possible with Microsoft, but a real hub for the community where we’ll be bringing to life our passion for helping people explore their creativity through an ambitious program of workshops and training along with moments that work to unite the community.”
Like Microsoft’s other stores, the London Flagship will not only showcase Microsoft’s various hardware and software offerings (Surfaces, Xbox, Windows 10), but host STEM programs, free workshops and eGaming competitions.
It will also be a place where Londoners can get hands-on experience with the companies growing mixed reality offerings, including HoloLens and Windows 10 headsets from partners like Acer and other brands.
In a blog post on the new location, David Porter, head of Microsoft stores, wrote,
We enter markets with the goal of strengthening the experience, creating more career opportunities, and contributing to the local community and entire region.
Microsoft did not announce the exact address or when the store will open, only promising “more details in the future.” Let’s hope for a surprise!