When we opened the first Microsoft retail store back on Oct. 22, 2009, our intention was simple: deliver outstanding choice, value and service for everyone who walks into our stores. Microsoft Stores were designed to create a meaningful, direct connection to our customers and give them the best place to experience and purchase Microsoft technology. Nearly five years after our first store in Scottsdale, Arizona opened, our footprint has reached a scale where 80 percent of Americans are within 20 miles of a Microsoft Store and includes 104 Microsoft retail store physical locations in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, online stores in 189 countries and an expanding physical presence through our store-in-store locations in China.
Today, I am pleased to confirm we have signed a lease to open a flagship store at 677 Fifth Avenue in New York City. As our first flagship store, it will serve as the centerpiece of our Microsoft Stores experience. This is a goal we’ve had since day one – we were only waiting for the right location. And now we have it. Our Fifth Avenue location will be much more than just a Microsoft Store. In addition to retail, there will be experiential space for Microsoft as a company to further engage with our customers and partners in new and innovative ways. This is an important milestone for Microsoft overall, our Stores team and millions of our current customers, as well as the millions to come. We could not be more excited to join one of the most visited streets in America.
Our New York City flagship location is coming at the right time. We are proud of the progress we’ve made to make Microsoft Stores the best place to go for Microsoft products like Surface Pro 3, Windows Phones, Xbox One and more, as well as a full lineup of accessories. Our passionate and knowledgeable store associates are building individual relationships with our customers and making sure each store is part of the fabric of the community that it operates in. Our Answer Desk experts can help you with all of your tech needs – with numerous services for free. And with the Community Theaters in many of our stores, anyone can come and discover how to get the most out of Microsoft products – for example, kids can learn about science and technology, how to program and more; and small businesses can take classes on how to be more productive – all at no cost.
Microsoft Stores will play a key role in our strategy as we continue to deliver the outstanding choice, value and service for customers everywhere. While we build out the Fifth Avenue location, we will continue to open more stores – in fact, we’re opening 10 more locations in time for this holiday season. But our New York flagship store – five years in the making – will be worth the wait.
We look forward to sharing more details as we get closer to the opening, and look forward to inviting everyone out to come celebrate with us in NYC!