Incredible Connection and Microsoft have partnered to bring the first Microsoft “Store-in-Store” in Africa, aimed at providing consumers with even more product offerings for the digital age.
The Sandton City Incredible Connection outlet officially launched today, 23 November 2016, and is the second such concept with Microsoft in the world. Incredible Connection CEO, Stefan Marnewick said that “this concept has worked incredibly well in other international markets and we are excited by the opportunities that this initiative affords both companies in giving South African technology enthusiasts a full experience when it comes to all things digital.”
Marnewick added that “some people have questioned the relevance of having brick and mortar retail stores in this connected world, but the reality is that South Africans still rely heavily on experiencing products first-hand, especially high-end technology ones, before making a purchasing decision. By partnering with Microsoft, we are able to take the retail experience to a different level, embracing a variety of retail innovations and presenting it to our customers in an engaging way.”
Consumer Channels Group Director of Microsoft South Africa, Colin Baumgart, followed up this sentiment: “Unlike online sales that require customers to do their own research by reading reviews as well as user forum comments, and watching YouTube reviews for instance, physical retail stores such as this new flagship store in Sandton, are driven by customer service. This means that customers have access to expert sales staff who can assist them in purchasing the right offerings to suit their wallet and their needs.”
While the concept may be unique to South Africa, what it does over and above all the additional products is provide a useful hands-on experience for the prospective buyer, across the entire Microsoft portfolio. The store-in-store setup also included Microsoft’s Windows 10 ecosystem where users could try out the new cross-platform gaming with the Xbox One and Microsoft OS laptop.
While the event was fairly straightforward and low-key by many standards, the setup and experience spoke for itself. There were two forms of entertainment away from the hands-on section, which included a magician and an artist drawing caricatures. The magician, Kevin Keuvelaar, otherwise known as The Bandit, amazed guests with his sleight of hand tricks, stealing watches and merging cards. The artist, Joel Kanar, depicted many of the guests in the form of caricatures that were printed for keepsake.