Bellevue, Wash. - Microsoft opened its seventh retail store yesterday, this one near its Redmond headquarters, and said it will expand the chain more rapidly next year.
Steve Ballmer and COO Kevin Turner were on hand for the festivities, which included a surprise performance by hometown artist Dave Matthews and free tickets to a Miley Cyrus concert.
Mika Krammer, general manager of merchandising and marketing for Microsoft stores, told The Seattle Times that new locations will be opened at a faster pace next year, and that the company will follow a similar real estate strategy.
The stores are located in shopping malls within affluent, largely suburban communities in Scottsdale, Ariz., Mission Viejo and San Diego, Calif., Lone Tree, Colo., Oak Brook, Ill., and Bloomington, Minn.
Like other locations, the 5,374-square-foot Bellevue store is situated near an Apple retail shop.
At the ribbon cutting ceremony, Ballmer and Turner presented more than $1 million in grants to area organizations to improve skills and education in science, technology, engineering and math.