Intel to Open Pop-Up Stores for the Holiday Season
It’s unclear if the stores will actually sell anything, although a YouTube video created to promote the new Intel Experience locations indicates consumers can order products online while in the store.
Locations will offer free coffee daily and free movies on Fridays. Speakers will be brought in for free lectures and, according to the video, some users will be able to borrow devices to try them out.
Clearly Intel’s Experience stores, the first of which will open Nov. 23 in New York’s NoLita area, will not be the same as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) Retail Stores, although it would appear the idea is to create a similar look and feel. Both Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Samsung (OTC: SSNLF) have experimented with the “retail store” concept.
Currently Microsoft has fewer than 50 retail locations, with plans for 75 more over the next two to three years. Samsung has gone with the “store-within-a-store” concept, opening more than 1500 mini-shops inside Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) stores worldwide.
According to Intel, its stores, unlike those of Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung, will not be permanent fixtures, but rather temporary, holiday season only, locations. All are expected to close after January 25, 2014.
So far it isn’t even clear what kinds of products will be showcased in the new pop-up stores. Laptop supposed it would be a combination of laptops, tablets, all-in-one PCs, and other products powered by Intel chips.
It’s possible the new Creative Sensz3D camera, designed by Intel, will also be on display or even available for a few lucky users to borrow. Intel also indicated, in the video that each store would feature local community inventors and others and allow them to display their wares as part of a “Tech Disruptors” program.
Finally, the company said it would be accepting used computers and other devices as part of a recycling program.
The main idea seems to be name recognition and the development of brand loyalty. The more customers are familiar with the role Intel plays in computing, the more likely they might be to shop for products that feature Intel chips.
According to The Verge, Intel’s “Experience” shops will change layout three times a day. Intel has not disclosed the total number of pop-up stores it will open this holiday season. That information is expected to be released in coming days.
At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in any mentioned securities.
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