Microsoft is setting up shop—a very expensive one—later this month in New York City.
The company announced this week that its flagship New York City store will start greeting customers on Monday, Oct. 26, at noon. The store is located in prime Manhattan real estate on 677 Fifth Ave. near 53rd Street.
Weeks later, on Nov. 12, the Redmond, Wash., tech titan will open its first international flagship store in Sydney, Australia, at the Westfield Sydney on Pitt Street Mall.
"These flagship stores have been in the making for six years," said David Porter, corporate vice president of Microsoft Worldwide Retail and Online Stores. "When we architected our retail plans, we committed to providing exceptional choice, value and service, and making a positive impact on the communities in which we operate."
The company's community outreach efforts include donating "more than $5 million in software and technology grants to select local organizations, as part of our company mission to help people achieve more in their lives," Porter said. "Our grand opening festivities in each city will recognize the great work done by these organizations, and we will share more details on our community celebrations soon."
In Manhattan, the store will be nestled among several high-end and luxury brands in a tourist-attracting stretch of real estate where storefront rents can cost thousands of dollars per square foot. "The five-floor, 22,269-square-foot location will be a premier venue to learn about, experience and shop for the products and services from Microsoft and our partners," Porter said.
Microsoft's new Manhattan store is also located a few blocks south of Apple's iconic "glass cube" store on Fifth Avenue and 58th Street. Apple's own flagship is often the scene of long, block-stretching lines during each major product launch.
The store will reflect the region's multicultural populace, Porter said. "Our store associate team comes from New York City's distinct and diverse five boroughs as well as surrounding areas, and speaks more than 19 languages."
Similarly, the new 6,000-square-foot Australian location will exhibit some multinational flair. "The store includes retail sales space as well as an interactive area to serve local customers and business, with staff originating from more than 11 countries and speaking more than 21 languages." Porter said.
With the openings taking place just ahead of the holiday shopping season, Microsoft is likely to stock the retail locations with new hardware. Microsoft is holding a press event on Oct. 6, during which the company is expected to unveil new Windows 10 devices, including the Surface Pro 4 and updated Lumia smartphones.
Microsoft and Apple aren't the only technology bigwigs to claim a Manhattan address.
Samsung operates a Galaxy Studio shop in the city's trendy SoHo neighborhood. A year ago, during the launch of its Galaxy Note Edge phablet, the company unveiled plans for a flagship location in the Meatpacking District. Also last year, rumors surfaced that Google was considering opening a brick-and-mortar store on the cobblestone Greene Street in SoHo.