Microsoft signs lease for Fifth Avenue flagship retail store, blocks from iconic Apple shop

The shop will give hands-on experience with products like the Xbox One.

Microsoft has long been considered an expert follower of longtime nemesis Apple when it comes to software.

Now it seems to be taking a direct page out of the Apple retail playbook.

Microsoft says it signed a lease to open a flagship retail store on Fifth Avenue that will “serve as the centerpiece” of its vision of experiential shops that give customers direct access to its products.

The retail space will be just blocks south of the Apple’s iconic glass store.

Microsoft said in a blog post Monday that the goal of the store will be to “further engage with our customers and partners in new and innovative ways.” Besides selling Microsoft products like Surface Pro and the Xbox One, many Microsoft Stores come complete with “Answer Desk” experts to help with tech problems and some even have theaters where free training is offered. (Apple Stores have long featured “geniuses” able to help with tech issues, as well as free training on their products). 

Microsoft said its Fifth Avenue flagship store was “five years in the making.” It did not say when the store would open.

The company said it plans to open 10 more Microsoft Stores before the holiday season.

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