Microsoft forges ahead with retail store expansion plans

The company is continuing its transformation from a simple software company with the announcement of its first six stores planned for 2013.

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Roger Cheng
A Microsoft store in Boston.
A Microsoft store in Boston. Jim Kerstetter/CNET

Microsoft unveiled the next six locations for its expanding network of retail stores.

The company has been in the middle of a broader transformation to further connect with consumers beyond its Windows software. That has included moving even further into the hardware business with its own tablet, the Surface, going beyond its Xbox 360 video game console and the ill-fated Zune media player. A key part of that strategy has been its growing chain of retail stores, which give it opportunities to interact directly with potential customers.

Geekwire was the first to spot the announcement. Here's a list:

  • The Shops at La Cantera, San Antonio, Texas
  • Dadeland Mall, Miami, Fla.
  • Beachwood Place, Beachwood, Ohio
  • Westfield San Francisco Centre, San Francisco
  • City Creek Center, Salt Lake City
  • St. Louis Galleria, St. Louis.

Here's a list of all of the Microsoft stores.

The company opened up a number of "pop-up" stores across the U.S. during the holiday season as part of a broader effort to push its new Windows 8 operating system and the Surface tablet. It has roughly 40 stores throughout the country.

Microsoft is attempting to emulate Apple's wildly successful retail push, which has created a network of stores that command impressive foot traffic and sales. Apple has 250 stores in the U.S. and 140 stores abroad. Average revenue per store was $51.5 million in fiscal 2012, up 19 percent from a year ago.