Microsoft has announced plans to open 30 “pop-up” holiday stores across the U.S. and two in Canada, an effort intended to drum up interest in Windows 8 and its Surface tablet ahead of the holiday shopping season.
The Redmond, Wash. company operates 23 permanent stores nationwide with another eight opening soon. These locations are mostly on the east and west coasts: the holiday locations are placed in areas without permanent retail stores, with several in the Midwest.
With the new locations, Microsoft’s retail footprint more than doubles, if only temporarily.
No opening date has been given for any of the holiday stores, although it is likely the locations will open shortly given October is a busy month for Microsoft. Windows 8 and the Surface tablet both go on sale October 26 . While Windows 8 will be available through several retailers, the Surface is only available online and through the Microsoft Store.
Microsoft’s tablet has received praise for its design and is seen as a worthy competitor to the market-leading Apple iPad . Its lack of availability may frustrate some trying to get their hands on Microsoft’s tablet, though. With more stores, consumers will have more opportunity to see the Surface in person.
Microsoft might have more in mind than just its own products. With most of these locations, there is a pattern developing: the presence of Apple.
Nearly every one of the 32 shopping centers listed also host an Apple Store. With Apple also expecting a solid holiday season with a new iPhone and potentially a new iPad model, Microsoft might competing head to head as a smart business strategy. Apple currently operates 382 retail locations worldwide.
This initial list isn’t the end either: Microsoft says it plans to announce additional locations in the “coming weeks.”
Here’s the list of currently announced holiday locations:
- Aventura Mall – Aventura, Fla.
- Beachwood Place – Beachwood, Ohio
- Cherry Creek Shopping Center – Denver, Colo.
- Dadeland Mall – Miami, Fla.
- Eaton Centre – Toronto, Ontario
- Fashion Mall at Keystone – Indianapolis, Ind.
- Fashion Show Mall– Las Vegas, Nev.
- Glendale Galleria – Glendale, Calif.
- Mall at Green Hills – Nashville, Tenn.
- Mall in Columbia – Columbia, Md.
- Metropolis at Metrotown – Burnaby, British Columbia
- Montgomery Mall – Bethesda, Md.
- Natick Collection – Natick, Mass.
- North Star Mall – San Antonio, Texas
- Oakridge Centre – Vancouver, British Columbia
- Penn Square Mall – Oklahoma City, Okla.
- Perimeter Mall – Atlanta, Ga.
- Roosevelt Field Mall – Garden, City, N.Y.
- Ross Park Mall – Pittsburgh, Penn.
- Saint Louis Galleria – St. Louis, Mo.
- San Francisco Centre – San Francisco, Calif.
- South Shore Plaza – Braintree, Mass.
- Southpark Mall – Charlotte, N.C.
- Stonebriar Centre Mall – Frisco, Texas
- Streets at Southpoint – Durham, N.C.
- Time Warner Center – The Shops at Columbus Circle – New York, N.Y.
- Washington Square– Portland, Ore.
- West Edmonton Mall – Edmonton, Alberta
- Westfarms Mall – West Hartford, Conn.
- Westfield Garden State Plaza – Paramus, N.J.
- Woodland Hills Mall – Tulsa, Okla.
- Woodlands Mall – Woodlands, Texas
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