For years, Apple (AAPL) has won plaudits for the design of its sleek retail stores and how quickly they have been rolled out around the globe. Now, tech giant Microsoft (MSFT), which boasts 111 retail stores worldwide versus 456 for Apple, is taking aim at its competitor’s success with large flagship stores situated in packed tourist destinations. On Monday, Microsoft will open its first flagship store on jam-packed Fifth Avenue in New York City. The store is an enormous 22,000 square feet spread over five floors, and is just blocks away from an Apple flagship store. On Nov. 12, Microsoft will open a smaller, 6,000 square foot flagship in Sydney, Australia. Flagships will serve a few purposes for Microsoft according to its COO of retail stores David McAughan, who TheStreet caught up with ahead of the grand opening of the New York City store. ‘One reason we built these stores is to showcase the first-party products we have,' explained McAughan, who added the stores will also feature third-party products from names such as Dell and Beats by Dre. McAughan also pointed out the locations of the stores in tourist destinations will help to better market the Microsoft brand to travelers, in particular Asians. TheStreet’s Brian Sozzi reports.