Microsoft’s flagship UK store is now open. The first store of its kind in the UK, the premises – located in London’s Oxford Circus – boasts 21,932 square feet over three floors and has been “designed to build connections with the local community, customers and businesses”.
Not only will visitors be able to “get hands-on” with Surface, Windows, Office, Xbox and PC gaming, HoloLens mixed-reality and more, there will also be “interactive zones, surrounded by immersive video walls running throughout the store” and an “Answer Desk” system – seemingly similar to Apple’s Genius Bar – that offers dedicated tech support and repairs regardless of where the device was purchased, the brand, or its operating system. A Community Theatre and space for tech, coding and STEM learning will also provide free, year-round workshops and programmes for customers.
To celebrate the opening, Microsoft has also announced a £1m grant to develop the digital skills of young people in the store’s local community. In partnership with Youth, The Raspberry Pi Foundation, and The London Community Foundation, the grant will “help train some of the most disadvantaged young people and help support [the] local community here in London”.
“We’ve wanted to bring a flagship to London for a very long time,” said Cindy Rose, corporate VP of Microsoft in the UK. “Today’s opening means that we now have a physical space where we can share the very best of Microsoft with everybody. Our ambition is that this is a place where people can do so much more than just shop.
“It’s a place where they can learn new skills, where businesses can grow and where we can build long term links with the communities in our neighbourhood. That’s why we’re investing £1 million to help train some of the most disadvantaged young people and help support our local community here in London.”