Say whatever you want about Microsoft products, but their retail stores have always been fantastic examples of high impact digital signage. The side walls in the stores are all digital and do everything from marketing to instructions.
So I am saddened by news this morning that the tech giant has opted to shut the stores down – evidently never able to come close to the retail success of Apple’s stores in the decade or so they’ve been open. Microsoft is spinning the decision as a new approach to retail.
The stores were shut in March because of COVID-19 and will now be permanently closed, though in a positive note, retail staffers have the opportunity to migrate their jobs to the company’s digital storefront.
This is likely tough news for YCD and Diversified, which took over management 2-3 years ago from Synect Media. YCD’s video wall software drives the stores’ terrific digital visuals.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.