Microsoft to open line of retail stores
By MARY DECKER
Kirkland Reporter Staff Writer
February 16, 2009 · Updated 11:46 PM
Microsoft Corp. has announced that it will open its own line of retail stores with David Porter at the helm. Porter, whose title will be corporate vice president of retail stores, comes to Microsoft from DreamWorks Animation SKG, where he was head of worldwide product distribution. He also spent 25 years at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in the roles of increasing responsibility and seniority in store operations, merchandising and information technology.
His first day at Microsoft will be Feb. 16 and he will work in partnership with leaders of existing retail programs in Microsoft’s Entertainment & Devices division.
A Microsoft spokesperson told the Reporter, via e-mail, that “timing is yet to be determined on the opening of the stores. David Porter and his newly created retail stores team will drive the planning and timing of store locations. Our target is a small number of high-profile experience stores in a few major cities around the world.”
The main objective “is to change the buying experience for consumers around the world — to show and demonstrate Microsoft’s key consumer products in a deeper and more meaningful way, making it more simple and easy for consumers to purchase PCs and devices that truly meet their specific needs. It is more important than ever to show and demonstrate value for consumers and make buying decisions clear, easy and relevant in a time of economic downturn. ... This is the focus of our retail push.”
The spokesperson declined to comment on how the Microsoft retail stores might compare to Apple stores, how many people the Microsoft stores would employ or what skills would be needed to work there.
Porter will report to Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner.Contact Kirkland Reporter Staff Writer Mary Decker at firstname.lastname@example.org.