Apple 1, Microsoft 0 — in downtown Portland, that is.
Less than one month ago, Apple unveiled its massive new 23,000 square-foot store in the heart of Portland. We had a chance to check it out this weekend, and in one word, the building is impressive.
Stretching 165 feet across one entire block, the store features 20-foot tall glass windows that enclose the space on three sides and allow sunlight to fill the interior — similar to the Stanford store that opened last year and the new Tokyo store.
On the inside, the usual product tables show off Apple’s newest gadgets, while a long 360-degree, 37-foot Genius Bar provides support for Apple users. There are also two iPad-laden “kids stations,” and extra space for product demos and training classes.
On Saturday afternoon, there were about 40 employees on the floor helping more than 80 customers — definitely enough workers, and at times it almost seemed like too many. We also noticed three security guards — yes, three —watching for any suspicious activity.
The new space replaces Portland’s original Apple Store, which opened in 2005 on the basement of downtown’s Pioneer Square Mall and was significantly smaller than the new location across the street. Apple is steadily expanding its retail footprint around the world, building new stores in places like Brazil, Holland, France, Italy, and across the U.S.
Meanwhile, a Microsoft Store that opened one year ago sits just one block from the new Portland Apple Store down Yamhill Street. At just 3,200 square feet, Microsoft’s retail spot is certainly smaller in size. We counted about 10 employees and 12 customers inside checking out the new Surface Pro 3 and Xbox One.
In terms of retail presence in downtown Portland, Apple absolutely now has the upper hand over Microsoft. Check out the video below for more: