1. someoneinwa's Avatar
    I'm hanging out in the UK for a while, and dropped by a PC World/Curry's store in Edinburgh to see the Surface 2. Sadly, the crap retail experience I've seen in places like Best Buy in the US was apparent here. The first display visible in the PC World store was for the iPad. The regular and the mini versions were both turned on and connected to the internet. A long table of Android and Kindle tablets was in the center of the store. All models were turned on and internet connected. They were either on their lock screen or on a display mode. The Windows notebooks were one row over. These were also all turned on and were all running the new Windows retail display mode. I was struck by how many of the devices were non-touch. At the middle of the store, on an end cap was the new Surface 2. No signage, nothing to indicate it had just been released. The display model was the 32GB version and there was no price tag for the 64GB option. The Surface 2 was asleep. I woke it and noted it was not connected to the internet, which of course makes a rather stunted experience for a tablet. There was a PC World WiFi signal available, but I couldn't connect the Surface to it because it required a password. There were also exactly two accessories on display. I really mean two. One cyan touch cover and one video adapter. That's it. There was also a Surface Pro on display. It was not the Pro 2. The Pro was turned off as well. I turned it on and it was also not connected to the internet. There were at least 6 employees buzzing about the store. Not one approached me while I was playing with the Surfaces. Every time I see this kind of pathetic experience, I understand exactly why Microsoft had to get into the retail business, but until they can get those stores to places like Edinburgh, they need to stay on top of their retailers and go knock some sense into them when needed.
    10-23-2013 10:41 AM
  2. martinmc78's Avatar
    Well the "flagship" store in Tottenham court road in London isn't much better - they had surface RT and Surface2 side by side no signage to say the 2 was new - and when you look at the comparative prices people will more than likely go for the RT - they also had the Pro and the Pro 2 side by side. No accessories on display but when I quizzed a member of staff he did tell me they only had purple and black type cover 2's for sale.

    They were all turned on and connected to the pcworld network though.
    10-23-2013 10:47 AM
  3. Daniel Gandolfo's Avatar
    I had a similar experience in a PC World store in the UK.

    I was interested in purchasing a Pen for my Surface RT. They had the Win Pen for sale so I asked them could I try it. Unfortanetely it didn't work on the RT. The staff memeber was flumoxed as to why it didn't work and it turned out that after asking around no-one in the store knew. So I decided to look on the Windows website (on an in-store I-Pad as it happens) and I found in the small print that if the Windows Pen didn't work try updating the software or the drivers. The Surface RT in question wasn't hooked up to the internet, so I took a risk and decided to by the pen.

    Lo and behold, the pen didn't work on my Surface RT when I got the pen home. It turns out that this pen only works on the Surface Pro. Absolutely no indication whatsoever.

    There are two things which come to light.

    1. No-one in PC World knew about this. This shows a distinct failure on the side of Microsoft for not training anyone at PC World or PC World staff for learning about the stuff which they sell.

    2. There is nothing on the Microsoft packaging which tells a shop buyer that the pen only works with the Surface Pro.

    Nevica
    10-23-2013 10:56 AM
  4. doomtuba's Avatar
    I live near a couple Best Buys. One has a complete "Microsoft Store" inside of it which is very nice with a complete prominent Surface table similar to what they have for iPad. At the other Best Buy, it doesn't have a Windows Store but it still has the large, prominent Surface display at the front of the store. Hopefully the retail experience in the UK gets better. It has here in the US.
    10-23-2013 11:07 AM
  5. tgp's Avatar
    But look at it from the retailer's point of view: They give the premium space to the best sellers. In the tablet world that is iPad & Android tablets. Even if they gave the best spot to Windows tablets they probably still wouldn't outsell iPad & Android, although sales would certainly increase. The retailer is out to sell, not necessarily to increase market share of an underdog, like we'd love to see!
    rmeigs likes this.
    10-23-2013 11:25 AM
  6. podsnap's Avatar
    Unfortunately, this is a fairly typical PC World experience. The staff are generally clueless, they've lied to me rather admit they don't know the answer.

    At my local PC World, the Suface RT (haven't had a chance to go see if they have the Surface 2) does get its own display area but none of them are setup with the sample account (Alison Brown was it?) that shows off the capabilities of the device when connected to the net.
    10-23-2013 01:54 PM
  7. chezm's Avatar
    But look at it from the retailer's point of view: They give the premium space to the best sellers. In the tablet world that is iPad & Android tablets. Even if they gave the best spot to Windows tablets they probably still wouldn't outsell iPad & Android, although sales would certainly increase. The retailer is out to sell, not necessarily to increase market share of an underdog, like we'd love to see!
    Right, but the devices should be connected to the internet so the customer can properly test the experience. In the few stores here in Canada i visited, both the Surface 2 and Pro 2 models were NOT connected to the internet either...so right away the general customer impression is "the device has issues" rather than "people who work here dont set the device up properly", especially since the iPad's and Android tablets all work with internet. If the retailer wants to favor their top sellers with premium placement, thats fine...but at least give all the devices connectivity they need to be tested/used.

    Also, i do find it odd that all the Surface's have password locks, yet all the iPads and Androids do not...are they really trying to draw customers FROM the Surface devices? because thats what they're doing, probably intentional too.
    10-23-2013 04:01 PM
  8. someoneinwa's Avatar
    I wasn't as concerned about where the Surface was located in the store. I included that description just for context. Store space is valuable and the Surface can't yet command the front. Yet a pathetic collection of accessories, not having the devices on or connected to the internet, and paying no attention to someone spending 10 minutes looking at a device is just crap salesmanship.
    10-23-2013 04:13 PM
  9. tgp's Avatar
    Right, but the devices should be connected to the internet so the customer can properly test the experience. In the few stores here in Canada i visited, both the Surface 2 and Pro 2 models were NOT connected to the internet either...so right away the general customer impression is "the device has issues" rather than "people who work here dont set the device up properly", especially since the iPad's and Android tablets all work with internet. If the retailer wants to favor their top sellers with premium placement, thats fine...but at least give all the devices connectivity they need to be tested/used.

    Also, i do find it odd that all the Surface's have password locks, yet all the iPads and Androids do not...are they really trying to draw customers FROM the Surface devices? because thats what they're doing, probably intentional too.
    Yes I agree they could at least be online. I'm not sure how that's such a problem. I doubt they're really doing anything to try to draw customers away from the Surface devices, unless there's some other problem with selling them that we don't know about. Like maybe the markup is lower, or more are returned, or more need warranty handling. Best Buy is ultimately concerned about profit, not about trying to sell the Surface over iPads or Androids, unless they make more money selling Surfaces. Evidently they don't.
    10-23-2013 05:13 PM
  10. chezm's Avatar
    Yes I agree they could at least be online. I'm not sure how that's such a problem. I doubt they're really doing anything to try to draw customers away from the Surface devices, unless there's some other problem with selling them that we don't know about. Like maybe the markup is lower, or more are returned, or more need warranty handling. Best Buy is ultimately concerned about profit, not about trying to sell the Surface over iPads or Androids, unless they make more money selling Surfaces. Evidently they don't.
    While I agree its hard to believe its intentional, im not trying to be a fanboy here...everytime I was confronted by a sales rep at the big stores here, as soon as the word Surface came out, their replies feel as though im annoying them. I mean ok you dont prefer the device, but come on...help the customer with their inquiry not your ego/bias. Its obviously not everyone but I've had poor experiences at multiple different stores.
    10-23-2013 09:24 PM
  11. segana's Avatar
    My local Currys apparently wasn't big enough to stock the Surface 2 and neither were the surrounding 3 Currys/PC Worlds. I had to drive for half an hour to get to a store which had 3 Surface 2's on launch day and my panic in getting there before they were gone wasn't justified...the staff didn't even know they had them. I only knew as the first Currys I'd gone too, checked which was the nearest store to have them.

    No displays at all. I told them they had them and when they checked the system, they realised they had 3 in the warehouse out back...shamefull.
    10-24-2013 06:46 AM
  12. mjrtoo's Avatar
    My local Currys apparently wasn't big enough to stock the Surface 2 and neither were the surrounding 3 Currys/PC Worlds. I had to drive for half an hour to get to a store which had 3 Surface 2's on launch day and my panic in getting there before they were gone wasn't justified...the staff didn't even know they had them. I only knew as the first Currys I'd gone too, checked which was the nearest store to have them.

    No displays at all. I told them they had them and when they checked the system, they realised they had 3 in the warehouse out back...shamefull.
    You're complaining you had to drive half an hour? That's how far most people drive to work.
    10-24-2013 06:49 AM
  13. podsnap's Avatar
    So just been on a fruitless search.

    Started with my local (big) PC World. They have a dedicated Surface display (since the first Surface was launched) but no Surface 2's, couldn't find a member of staff to ask.

    So went to a big shopping centre and to John Lewis. I was met with a blank stare, they clearly hadn't heard of it despite me contacting them beforehand to find if they had any in stock.

    So finally went to a smaller PC World in the same shopping centre. Same result, blank stares, no Surface.

    This just echoes my experience at the original launch of the Surface. It took ages for any of these places to stock them, even after they were allowed to.

    I'm fairly certain, on the day the new iPad is available, all the above stores (with their dedicated little Apple areas) will be brimming with stock.

    I really thought this launch would be different but it's the same old story.

    Seriously, the staff in these places don't even know what a Surface is (even the old versions).
    10-24-2013 07:47 AM
  14. ikissfutebol's Avatar
    But look at it from the retailer's point of view: They give the premium space to the best sellers. In the tablet world that is iPad & Android tablets. Even if they gave the best spot to Windows tablets they probably still wouldn't outsell iPad & Android, although sales would certainly increase. The retailer is out to sell, not necessarily to increase market share of an underdog, like we'd love to see!
    What Android tablets are best sellers? Galaxy line? Kindle Fire line? Nexus? What else? I understand your idea here, but there are more than likely Asus and other brands of tablets displayed that are far from "best sellers". Why are Macs displayed? They are not best sellers" in a market share sense. Why should Surface be hidden if it is the best selling tablet in its category (Windows-based tablets)?
    10-24-2013 08:01 AM
  15. jason8957's Avatar
    Wow, reading this I feel lucky that I work a 15 minute walk from a Microsoft Store. I was inline behind a guy buying two Surface Pro 2s. They let me unbox mine and get it going right at the counter to verify that everything was fine.

    I have read that Microsoft is working on it retail presence in the big brick-and-mortar electronics stores. Appears they still have much work to do.
    10-24-2013 08:04 AM
  16. ikissfutebol's Avatar
    From a retailers perspective, they probably want to sell people devices that will require they buy all new accessories. In my experiences in tech support and IT, most people that move to Apple after being a PC user get stuck and likely need all Apple-compatible cords and such. Since most people are not that tech savvy, I bet slick sales people can convince them to buy stuff they don't need. That said, I wonder how many buy the expensive Apple device and then never use it. Again, from my circles, it seems that most people can get by with a phone and laptop. The ones that get tablets seem to use them for specific tasks (e-reader being the most popular). I'm not saying that's true for everyone, even in my circle, but most that I have observed. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple made deals to allow their products to be sold in store required certain display requirements. I have to say that while Android tablets are usually displayed in a "better" location than the Surface, when I have seen both Windows and Android tablets displayed, they both lack the polish of iPads. At Best Buy last weekend, for the first time I saw the Surface actually displayed in two separate locations- one when you walked in and one in what I am guessing was a Windows Store. Hopefully that's a sign of things to come.
    chezm likes this.
    10-24-2013 08:14 AM
  17. tgp's Avatar
    What Android tablets are best sellers? Galaxy line? Kindle Fire line? Nexus? What else? I understand your idea here, but there are more than likely Asus and other brands of tablets displayed that are far from "best sellers". Why are Macs displayed? They are not best sellers" in a market share sense. Why should Surface be hidden if it is the best selling tablet in its category (Windows-based tablets)?
    I don't know. It's a theory. No single Android tablet is a bestseller, but Android tablets as a whole are outselling iPads.
    10-24-2013 09:36 AM
  18. ag1986's Avatar
    From a retailers perspective, they probably want to sell people devices that will require they buy all new accessories. In my experiences in tech support and IT, most people that move to Apple after being a PC user get stuck and likely need all Apple-compatible cords and such. Since most people are not that tech savvy, I bet slick sales people can convince them to buy stuff they don't need. That said, I wonder how many buy the expensive Apple device and then never use it. Again, from my circles, it seems that most people can get by with a phone and laptop. The ones that get tablets seem to use them for specific tasks (e-reader being the most popular). I'm not saying that's true for everyone, even in my circle, but most that I have observed. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple made deals to allow their products to be sold in store required certain display requirements. I have to say that while Android tablets are usually displayed in a "better" location than the Surface, when I have seen both Windows and Android tablets displayed, they both lack the polish of iPads. At Best Buy last weekend, for the first time I saw the Surface actually displayed in two separate locations- one when you walked in and one in what I am guessing was a Windows Store. Hopefully that's a sign of things to come.
    Actually, most people these days seem to get along with a phone and tablet - laptops are either issued by workplace, or you have a desktop. Apart from students, a lot of people these days actually don't own a laptop computer (or haven't used it in ages).
    chezm likes this.
    10-24-2013 09:41 AM
  19. podsnap's Avatar
    Wow, reading this I feel lucky that I work a 15 minute walk from a Microsoft Store.
    Believe me, I wish there were Microsoft Stores here in the UK, I'd love to have the kind of service they seem to provide.
    10-24-2013 11:15 AM

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