Razer opens brick and mortar store in San Francisco
Beginning just earlier this year, Razer has been experimenting with its very own walk-in stores in Taiwan, Thailand, and the Philippines. The green manufacturer of gaming accessories and the well-known Blade series of notebooks now has its sights in North America with a brand new store opening in downtown San Francisco just in time for this year's Google IO event.
Like Razer's existing stores overseas, we are expecting to see to see all major Razer products being showcased under one roof including the Blade Stealth, Blade 14, mechanical keyboards, apparel, and other branded gaming gear. Considering that San Francisco has become a hub of sorts for technology and its proximity to Silicon Valley, the new store should have no problems attracting a gaming crowd. The Apple Store, for example, is quite literally across and up the street from the new Razer Store with the Metreon just a few blocks away.
While people are welcome to stay and play games on Razer devices, the store is not an Internet cafe for LAN parties or similar events.
(May 21, 2016 update): The Razer store opens today and after a brief media tour, we have learned that the venue will indeed be used for LAN events with tournaments on an almost weekly basis. The tables and chairs are setup for 5v5 or 6v6 matches on games like LoL, Overwatch, and others. Public or private teams of friends can even use the small store free of charge provided that they contact or email the venue beforehand for a time slot.
Since the venue is setup more for LAN and gaming than an actual store, we were worried if Razer would even sell enough products to justify a brick and mortar location in San Francisco. Our contact has assured us that foot traffic is much more important and, based on their existing stores in Asia, are expected to increase online sales in the region even if in-store sales are low.
Would users be able to bring in their own non-Razer systems to play? Razer was a bit hesitant to give us a straight answer, so we expect that users will have to jump through more hoops if they don't want to use the existing Xbox one, Razer Blade Pro, Blade Stealth, and Blade 14 stations. Larger press outlets will have a higher chance of striking a deal for populating the venue with non-Razer computers for gaming events.
The store is right inside the front entrance of the Westfield mall and is open everyday in accordance to the mall's hours. Razer is boasting a closer relationship with Microsoft this year who also happens to have its own store in the same mall right upstairs.