How well are Microsoft's retail stores competing against Apple Stores? To find out Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster sent a team to stake out the two retail outlets which face each other at the Mall of America in Minneapolis. Their findings don't bode well for Microsoft.
Fortune's Philip Elmer-DeWitt, the first to run the story, reported, "Shoppers at the Apple Store bought an average of 11 iPads per hour. Despite heavy TV, print and billboard advertising for the new Microsoft Surface tablet, not one was sold sold during the two hours Piper Jaffray spent monitoring that store."
PCMag's Chloe Albanesius added, "Piper Jaffray found that hourly traffic to the Microsoft Store was 47 percent less than traffic to the Apple Store during a two-hour period. 'On average, 3.5 items were purchased per hour at the Microsoft store (all but 2 purchases were XBox games) compared to 17.2 items at the Apple store,' analyst Gene Munster wrote in a note to investors. 'Also notable, was that there were no Microsoft Surfaces sold during those two hours.'"
CNET's Don Reisinger cautioned, "Obviously, Munster's findings come only from a single location. It's possible that Microsoft's stores are doing better in other areas and that the Minneapolis showing is an exception to the rule. Then again, it's possible similar scenarios are playing out all across Microsoft's retail chain."
A separate study by IBM found that Apple's iPad dominated online shopping from mobile devices on Black Friday. According to eWeek's Nathan Eddy, "The iPad generated more traffic than any other tablet or smartphone, reaching nearly 10 percent of online shopping. The iPad was followed by another popular Apple device, the iPhone, with 8.7 percent, and Google Android-based devices with 5.5 percent. The iPad dominated tablet traffic at 88.3 percent followed by Barnes & Noble’s Nook with 3.1 percent, the Amazon Kindle with 2.4 percent and the Samsung Galaxy Tab with 1.8 percent. Overall online sales on Thanksgiving grew by 17.4 percent followed by Black Friday where sales increased 20.7 percent over last year, while mobile purchases exploded with 24 percent of consumers using a mobile device to visit a retailer's site, up from 14.3 percent in 2011. Mobile sales exceeded 16 percent, up from 9.8 percent in 2011."