For years, Apple had an exclusive relationship with Best Buy. Apple was the only company to have official Apple stores inside most Best Buy locations. This undoubtedly fuelled the rise of Apple over the last decade and won the hearts and minds of Apple users around the world by giving them a convenient place to test out new Apple products.
Well, it looks like Apple’s reign of terror over Best Buy customers is at an end. Last year, Samsung began to offer “Experience Shops” inside Best Buy locations across America. And this year, Microsoft is jumping on board as well with its own selection of in-store shops.
Windows Stores will be unveiled at 500 Best Buy locations in the United States this summer along with 100 Future Shop and Best Buy locations throughout Canada. I don’t think there are much more than 100 Best Buy/Future Shop locations in total across Canada, so it seems like the majority of Best Buy stores in North America will have a Windows Store.
To showcase Windows Store products, Best Buy will hire 1,200 Microsoft-trained sales associates for its stores. These sales associates will offer:
“…a large-scale, hands-on customer experience that will show customers how Windows and Microsoft devices and services can make it easier for them to work and play.”
Judging by the picture released with this announcement, the Windows Stores will be fairly sizable. I don’t know about your Best Buy, but the Best Buys in my city have a relatively small Apple section that takes up a fraction of the space the above Windows Store would take up.
Is it going to be awkward when Apple and Windows employees meet each other in the break room?