A Surface Retail Reality Check
Whatever the buzz that got some people to line upo for the midnight launch of Surface sales at Microsoft Stores last night seems to have dissipated quickly. This afternoon, I stopped by the popup store in Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Md. It was a slow time of day, about 3 pm on a Friday, but the heavily staffed store wasn’t having a lot of luck even getting passing shoppers to stop and take a look at its assortment of Surface tablets and Windows 8 laptops. At one point, I counted five customers (at least in the sense they were looking) and 10 store employees, probably mostly contractors.
Here’s a very of the same store, located at the crossing of two main aisles, from the level above:
And here, for contrast, is a shot of the Apple Store located directly above the Microsoft popup. It’s actually pretty empty by Apple standards, but Microsoft would die for this sort of quiet time.