Background of Apple Stores
The first Apple retail store was opened in Virginia, in 2001, in the context of a new business strategy promoted by Steve Jobs in response to a conflict with retailers, including the US retailing chain CompUSA (Martellaro, 2016). The focus was on creating a team of professional retailing specialists. Mickey Drexler, who had previously worked for The Gap since the 1980s, and Ron Johnson, who had worked for Target, were invited to join the team and develop an attractive store design.
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A prototype store with a design based on the product matrix was organized in a rented warehouse in Cupertino. However, the store was later rearranged to address customers’ preferences in purchasing Apple products. As a result, Apple stores were among the first retail outlets that strived for a positive consumer experience based on an effective arrangement of space. This task-oriented design became a distinctive feature of stores where consumers could touch and use products (Martellaro, 2016). One more proposed service was the Genius Bar, with whose help consumers could diagnose problems with their devices.
Background of Microsoft Stores
In 2009, the first Microsoft retail stores were opened in Arizona and California. The purpose of this change in distribution strategy was to improve consumers’ experience while helping them make more informed and reasonable purchasing decisions. To develop an effective design and brand strategy for its stores, Microsoft cooperated with Lippincott. The marketing strategy was based on the patterns used in Apple retail stores as well as strategies followed by Nike and Sony, among others, as these patterns had proved successful (Fried, 2016).
Microsoft stores focused on selling Windows 7, PCTV, Xbox, and Windows Mobile. These retailing strategies were built around the concept of “Emily,” a young female target consumer who makes purchasing decisions as a member of a family. The stores also provided experiences such as personalization and the provision of services similar to Apple’s Genius Bar – the Answers Bar (Fried, 2016; Rosenblum, 2014).
Fried, I. (2016). Microsoft tried to clone the Apple Store. It still hasn’t worked. Web.
Martellaro, J. (2016). The real reason Apple retail stores flourish. Web.
Rosenblum, P. (2014). Microsoft’s retail stores may hold the key to its future success. Forbes. Web.
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