Microsoft opened doors on its first retail store in Northern California just a few steps away from an Apple store.
Apple employees at the Westfield Valley Fair mall in Santa Clara must have had a strong sense of déjà vu watching people camp outside waiting for the doors to open on Microsoft’s 4,000-square-foot shop today. The proximity is unlikely to go unnoticed, since the mall is about 7 miles away from Apple’s Cupertino headquarters.
“I feel bad for those guys in Apple,” said Blake Contreras, a 12-year-old from San Jose who stayed overnight so he could be first in line for the grand opening. “Microsoft’s having this big party and the Apple employees just have to sit there and watch.”
Historic but now down-at-heel retailer Sears isn’t known for its cool stores, but the company is hoping a massive iPad and iPod deployment will change that.
Sears Holdings is equipping 450 stores nationwide with Apple’s sleek devices to train sales people and boost productivity by allowing them to check inventory, order products online and access product information before customers get frustrated and go somewhere else.
A couple of YouTube videos have surfaced demonstrating the new interactive iPad software located next to all Apple products in the Apple Store 2.0 retail layout. Each iPad acts as a kiosk that customers can use to explore product features, perform product comparisons, and summon help from a sales associate.