Grace Bros' Sydney City store is likely to be the first retailer to sell a copy of Windows XP after Microsoft dubbed it the official launch store for Windows XP in New South Wales.
The department store's proximity to the heart of Sydney's CBD and the level of attention it can generate with its planned massive advertising campaign saw it pip rival retailers Harvey Norman and David Jones for pole XP-launch position, said Darren Hintz, product manager of electrics at Grace Bros Sydney City.
"Microsoft wants maximum exposure among business people and consumers," he said. "We have such a big advantage being right in the middle of the city; a lot of people stop in to Grace Bros in their lunch hour. There is really nothing in the city to compare - David Jones is the closest retailer, but it doesn't compete on this level. The nearest Harvey Norman is up at Broadway. There is no retailer in the centre of the city that can offer this range."
The department store, like the software giant, is sparing no expense in pushing the XP product - advertising the launch in its shop windows, on in-store television sets, and on flyers being distributed at major train stations in the Sydney City area.
The retailer is also e-mailing regular clients with details, and has struck up a deal with mobile content specialists iTouch to enable opt-in SMS advertising of such launches to its regular customers.
Grace Bros and Microsoft are also currently discussing the opening of "Microsoft Concept Shops" at several of the stores, Hintz said. Under such an arrangement, Microsoft products sit in a dedicated, heavily branded space rather than being shelved according to product category.