This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Microsoft's Retail Strategy Absolutely Stinks

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Over the weekend on his Twitter feed the great Herb Greenberg of CNBC said:

I have always wondered why Apple (AAPL) slums it by allowing Walmart (WMT), Target (TGT) and Best Buy (BBY) to sell its premium products at all, let alone at a discount.

Amazon.com (AMZN) makes slightly more sense given its dominant online presence. Plus, despite the media-driven meme of fierce competition between the two companies, I reckon Apple and Amazon have a partnership, even if it's unspoken or merely the result of a Steve Jobs-Jeff Bezos handshake.

In any event, it would be most excellent to get your hands on the broken down numbers: Apple product sales at Apple Stores, at Apple.com, at Amazon.com and at Walmart, Target and Best Buy. Good luck getting that data. Apple will never release it. And if a partner did, there would be trouble.

That said, I bet the numbers flatter Apple. They would also help explain why Microsoft's (MSFT) retail strategy stinks.

See my article, Apple, Tesla Completely Embarrass Microsoft, for part one on why it stinks.

But set aside the fact that Microsoft stores look like competitive spoofs designed by Apple itself. Even if Microsoft did something wholly original from a cosmetic standpoint, its retail strategy would still fail miserably.

It's worth paying an extra 5% or whatever to make your iPod, iPhone, iPad or Macbook purchase at an Apple Store. There's something to be said for paying for a trademark experience and excellent customer service before, during and after the sale.

People do this; in fact, I'm willing to bet that between physical and online, Apple sells, at minimum, 80% to 90% of its product by itself. Consumers no longer feel intimidated walking into an Apple Store; they feel welcome and, maybe more importantly, cool.

Over the weekend, I stopped by Microsoft's "pop-up" store in Times Square. There's nothing . . . good . . . to be said for that experience.

Relative to the Apple Store, this Microsoft outlet was void of bodies. At times, it got semi-crowded, however there was no steady flow. Mind you, it occupies a tiny space. Apple could never operate a store that small, pop-up or not, in a random city let alone Midtown Manhattan.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,156.85 +24.88 0.15%
S&P 500 2,001.57 +2.59 0.13%
NASDAQ 4,562.1890 +9.43 0.21%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs