At noon ET today, Microsoft will open its new flagship retail experience on Fifth Avenue in New York City. As you might expect, the company is also planning some fun events around the store opening, which is its 113th retail location and one of the only standalone Microsoft Stores.
I was invited to attend today’s opening as well as to a press preview event last week, but given how much I’ve been traveling lately—and I’m heading to Las Vegas tomorrow, too—I declined both invitations. However, I spoke with Microsoft about the store and can provide a quick, high-level overview of what’s happening.
It’s a flagship. Microsoft describes its new retail store, located at Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street in New York City, as its first flagship retail location. (Which will probably come as a surprise to some of the other stores, I guess.) Six years in the making, this Microsoft Store provides over 22,000 square feet of retail space and is the first to span more than a single floor. It’s also only one of two Microsoft Stores that is not inside a mall (the other being in Portland, Oregon).
Ribbon-cutting ceremony. Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner and Corporate Vice President of Devices Panos Panay will join some New York City top brass for a ribbon-cutting ceremony outside of the main entrance before noon today. “A curtain will drop — unveiling the inside of the Microsoft Flagship Store for the first time — and it will then be open to the public at noon,” Microsoft says.
Day One deals. Customers who show up at the store today will receive vague deals on Surface devices (remember, Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book debut today) and Xbox One consoles and accessories. Additionally, the first 1,000 people in line will receive complimentary tickets to attend a Pitbull concert at Rockefeller Center at 8 pm ET tonight.
Halo 5: LIVE. With Halo 5 launching tonight at midnight, Microsoft will be broadcasting its live launch celebration in the store, so local fans can head on out to pick up the game and join in the festivities. Fans will also have the chance to win a trip for two to Seattle for an exclusive tour of Xbox and 343 Industries, the creators of Halo 5, Microsoft says.
Meet some New York Jets. Hot off their first of two biannual defeats at the hands of fully-inflated New England Patriots, two members of the New York Jets—quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and running back Chris Ivory—will be on hand on Tuesday night at 6 pm to celebrate the launch of new Surface devices. The line starts at 5 pm.
Sorry I can’t be there, but given how much I travel to New York, I’m sure I’ll be able to check out the new store before the end of the year.