EXCLUSIVE:Leaked Microsoft Document Surfaces,Reveals "Seismic" Makeover For Mass PC Retailers

Written by David Richards     21/07/2014 | 18:28 | Category: INDUSTRY

A leaked internal Microsoft document has revealed that the US Company is set to spend millions relaunching the Windows and Surface Tablet brands at Australian retailers in a move that the Company claims is a "seismic" change that will reshape consumer electronics retailing in Australia.

EXCLUSIVE:Leaked Microsoft Document Surfaces,Reveals "Seismic" Makeover For Mass PC Retailers
Some Microsoft Windows partners are not happy with the move.

The exercise will see Microsoft taking up a massive amount of floor space at the likes of Harvey Norman, JB Hi Fi, Dick Smith, and The Good Guys, Officeworks claim that they rejected the move by Microsoft as they did not want Microsoft "dictating the layout of their stores". 

Microsoft claim that the move is aimed at improving sales of Microsoft tablets, products like Office 365 and other devices that run Windows based software.

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How the new merchandisers will look

One Japanese PC Company executive who did not want to be named described the move as an attack on "selected Microsoft Windows Partners as Microsoft products take pride of place over Windows partners products in the new Microsoft store merchandisers".

They added "This is what you do when you don't want to open a Company store. At Harvey Norman and JB Hi Fi the PC retail space is going to be dominated by Apple, Microsoft, Google and Samsung, other brands will struggle to get strong positioning or even support. Earlier this year JB Hi Fi staff were bought off by Microsoft with massive rebates directly to staff who sold a Microsoft product".

Microsoft sources claim that their plan is the biggest makeover of consumer electronic stores ever in Australia that will affect how retailers hire staff, run online operations, merchandise, educate and demonstrate products.

Microsoft claim that retailers have to stop selling technology and specifications and instead sell WANT, fun, solutions, style and entertainment. 

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What retailers have to learn

They claim that there are five elements that will drive sales of their Surface tablets, Demand, .com and social media, RSP, retail experience and demo's.

Microsoft research seen by ChannelNews reveal that 17% of purchases are made up of "tech shoppers", 51% are basic users and that price is not the answer to obtaining a sale. 

They claim that "suitability" is the driver that often determines a sale.

When it comes to female shoppers 23% are more likely to shop in store.

New training modules urge staff at the retailers who will roll out the new look retail operation to "Focus on use and benefits and not specs".

Microsoft urges retail staff to "exploit shopper's personality and price psychology". 

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Microsoft research

Microsoft claim that what they are delivering is "seismic change not marginal improvements". 

The leaked document reveals that Microsoft is spending millions redesigning retail stores to accommodate massive new Microsoft display stands. 

The new look will kick off this week with 10 tier one displays at Harvey Norman, 22 At The Good Guys, 14 at JB Hi Fi and 30 at Dick Smith a proposed 155 merchandising stands  at Officeworks has been rejected, the final numbers are unconfirmed. 

In October an additional 6 Tier one displays, 20 tier 2 and 60 tier 3 displays, will be rolled out to promote new Microsoft products. 

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Microsoft will also supply sales staff to individual stores, to sell their vision for 16 hours a week during peak buying periods. 

Images in the leaked Microsoft document show JB Hi Fi stores laid out with the new layout.

Microsoft has not commented on the leaking of their retail master plan document that is titled "What is true Reinvention".

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