Microsoft To Open Temporary ‘Pop-Up’ Stores For The Holidays To Boost Surface Retail Sales

August 13, 2012 0

Redmond, Washington — In an attempt to boost sales of its much touted innovation, software maker Microsoft is prepping for a busy holiday 2012 season by revving up its retail strategy to sell the Surface tablet and other Microsoft products by opening temporary pop-up brick-and-mortar stores in about a dozen cities in North America.

Going forward, the new stores are very significant to Microsoft, since the company’s Surface tablet will only sold at its own retail locations as well as online. Microsoft officials earlier this summer revealed that they intend to open a number of temporary “pop-up” holiday stores this year.

However, back then, the company did not specify where these stores would be. But adding up another dozen stores to the 31 Microsoft Stores either already open or planning to open soon would surely give Microsoft’s tablet a much-needed boost.


Interestingly, in retail jargon, pop-up stores are store locations engaging in short term leases to occupy vacant space in shopping malls. They are usually arranged for the holiday shopping season, opening sometime in October and operating into early January.

The news surfaced thanks to new job postings on the Microsoft Retail Store Jobs site, the company is seeking to staff a dozen temporary retail stores during the holiday season, primarily to sell its Microsoft-made Surface tablet and Windows 8 operating system, which revealed where at least some of these pop-up shops will be located. Among the venues advertising for temporary Microsoft Store retail product will be opening in the following cities:

  • Braintree, Mass.

  • Chicago (downtown)

  • Cleveland, Ohio

  • Manhattan, N.Y.

  • Miami, Fla.

  • Natick, Mass.

  • Portland, Ore.

  • San Antonio, Texas

  • San Francisco

  • St. Louis, Mo.

  • Vancouver, B.C.

However, the job postings did not mentioned how long the stores will remain open, and the jobs are listed as “temporary.” In most of the areas where new stores will be opening, there is no Microsoft Store close by. With that in mind, it would not be surprising if the locations become permanent if they perform well–especially since Microsoft wants to have at least 75 retail locations open by 2013.

Among other things, Microsoft Stores will sell Windows PCs, Windows Phones, Microsoft and third-party software, games, peripherals and more. Microsoft also is planning to market its recently revealed Surface PC/tablets through its Microsoft Stores in the U.S. and via select online Microsoft stores, as well. The ARM-based Surface RT devices are set to be available October 26, the same day that Windows 8 will be generally available in retail outlets and preloaded on new PCs.

Nevertheless, the pop-up store approach ultimately demonstrates Microsoft’s determination to make a big push with Surface, company’s first personal computer in which the software and hardware are both made by Microsoft. Before the advent of the Surface, Microsoft left hardware manufacturing to the PC OEMs.