Microsoft plans to increase stores on mainland to 400 in 2 years
Microsoft Corp plans to triple the number of its franchised stores in China to 400in two years, as the United States tech giant steps up efforts to boost the sales of its consumer electronics products.
The plan came shortly after the firm unveiled a new all-inone desktop personal computer on Wednesday, to target creative professionals and consumers.
Isaiah Cheung, vice-president at Microsoft Greater China, said China is the second biggest market for its Surface lineup, only after the United States.
“The average price Chinese consumers pay is going up. We believe China will overtake the US as our largest market one day,” Cheung said.
In the latest quarter ending in September, Surface revenue hit $926 million, up 38 percent year-on-year.
In the same time frame, the China market was also growing rapidly, Cheung said. Currently, the firm has 115 franchised stores in the Chinese mainland and has established closer partnerships with major retail chains such as Suning Commerce Group Co Ltd.
The firm is also planning to open its first China Microsoft store, a store owned and operated by Microsoft itself, as an increasing number of consumers are gravitated toward its products.
“We are looking for the proper timing and location to open the store. After all, we don’t have to worry about its revenue now, given the strong sales performance in China,” Cheung said.
Surface Studio, the new PC unveiled on Wednesday, comes with a 28-inch display with what Microsoft says is the thinnest LCD screen ever. It is priced at $2,999 in the United States.
The Windows 10 update, which will be rolled out in the spring, enables consumers to invent and share 3D-objects.
On Thursday, Apple Inc also unveiled a new Macbook Pro, seeking to expand its share in the PC market.
Zhao Xiaolei, an analyst at International Data Corp, said Microsoft hopes to set the trend of what future all-in-one desktop PCs should look like so that other PC manufacturers can follow.
Currently, the best-selling Surface products in China are its tablet-PC hybrids.
Journalists and Microsoft fans get a look at the new Microsoft Surface Studio introduced at a Microsoft news conference on Wednesday in New York.