Microsoft will open its fourth Canadian retail store in Mississauga, Ont. on February 8th, and will cap the grand opening weekend with a free public concert by Weezer on Feb. 9th.
The new Microsoft store in Mississauga’s Square One shopping centre will be the vendor’s second in the Greater Toronto Area, complementing the first Canadian store at Toronto’s Yorkdale Mall.
Stores were also opened last year by Microsoft in Edmonton and Burnaby, BC. Each opening hard their own concert – Toronto had Train, Edmonton had Dierks Bentley and Burnaby had Kelly Clarkson. Former hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky also made an appearance at the Toronto opening.
Microsoft’s retail strategy was launched in 2009 when it hired former Wal-Mart executive David Porter to lead its retail strategy. The vendor was responding to the success of rival Apple in appealing directly to consumers with its successful chain of Apple stores around the world.
The strategy has raised eyebrows in the channel, although Microsoft’s stores have been largely consumer-focused, showcasing OEM devices running Windows 8 and its own Surface tablets as well as its gaming offerings, such as the Xbox. Microsoft has also told partners the retail locations are available for them to demonstrate technology to their clients, and shoppers with deeper business needs will be referred to channel partners.
In addition to the four full Canadian stores, Microsoft also operates mall kiosks at Edmonton’s Southgate Centre, Vancouver’s Oakridge Centre and Toronto’s Eaton Centre.