Leaked plans for Microsoft retail shops show big DS component

July 26, 2009 by Dave Haynes


Microsoft recently announced it was going to start opening up its own retail shops to go head to head, sort of, with Apple and its own hip and very successful retail outlets. Someone has now slipped the guys at Gizmodo a Powerpoint presentation from the retail design firm engaged to come up with the look and feel of the shops.

Happily, and mercifully, there’s a big nod to digital screens. The few times I have seen screens work really well in retail, so far, have been when the things have been schemed in from the start and are part of the strategy.

More typically, so far, it’s been a case of a store getting designed and somebody suggesting a screen or two get put in where there’s room.

Microsoft has commented on the leak and said nothing is firmed up. But stores are supposed to open this fall, so whatever is being done would pretty much have to already be settled on if that timeline is to be met.

Among the plans are a video wall that pretty much wraps around the store interior, as well as interactive stations and a theater area.

While these may not be the final plans, certainly you have to think it will take this kind of direction. Done well, they should be a good reference point for the DS industry, showcasing the kinds of possibilities for screens in retail. I don’t think a lot of chain retailers get excited about a screen stuck on a wall behind cash, but this sort of thing should get them thinking.  


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