Apple is the most profitable retailer in America. More than 20,000 people a week visit the typical Apple Store and each location generates about $5,600 per square foot. Apple has changed the face of retail with its minimalist store design, open spaces, simple display tables and large glass entrances. In doing so, it inspired other retailers including its competitor, Microsoft.
As of this writing, Microsoft had opened fourteen stores around the U.S. and they most certainly took a page or two, or three, from the Apple Retail playbook. Friendly employees in brightly colored shirts greet visitors in stores that are spacious, clean, and uncluttered. Expansive windows invite shoppers to see the excitement inside the store and interactive display areas encourage customers to play with Microsoft products. The resemblance to the Apple Store design is more than a coincidence. Microsoft hired at least one Apple Store designer to act as a consultant to its new stores. You can’t blame Microsoft. A store could do worse than copying one of the greatest models in retail history.