Our first visit was to Microsoft. We got a look in the store two days before it officially opened to the public as part of a press tour.
We were instantly impressed by the layout inside. Directly in front of the entrance is an HD video wall, which was streaming content about Microsoft’s software and products.
Its minimalist style was instantly reminiscent of an Apple store.
However, there were far more distractions here.
Upstairs, we found there was a wider assortment of Microsoft's Surface laptops and tablets, as well as accessories such as headphones and keyboards. There was also an area where you could come and have your keyboard cover personalized.
During the tour, the store manager, John Carter, pointed out the "Answer Desk." This is where customers can come to receive support on new products or software and schedule repairs.
The gaming room was perhaps the most impressive part of the store and likely to be a big hit with avid gamers.
There were around 15 gaming stations set up for customers to come and play its latest Xbox games. This is a clever way to give people an introduction to its games and get them playing.
As are its workshops held in the "Community Theatre." Microsoft said it will be holding daily classes over the summer for kids and parents to teach them how to use its products and software. This helps to get kids using Microsoft devices at an early age.
The final floor was reserved for Microsoft's business customers and is designed to be more like an office than a store. It is out of bounds to the public but it's certainly handy for any of its business clients.
On to Apple we went.
This giant store, just one block away from Microsoft, opened in 2004 but was redesigned in 2016.
Apple's stores are known for their highly minimalist design. As with its products, it's all about the simple and sleek aesthetic. The idea is to create a space where customers can easily interact with its products with minimal distraction.
Apple has also always touted customer service in its stores. An employee immediately bounded up to us to help.
However, the new store layout, which was introduced by Angela Ahrendts who left the company earlier this year, has drawn criticism.
Dozens of people were sitting in the communal spaces. It wasn't clear if they are waiting to speak to a sales assistant or just taking a break.
Ahrendts also replaced its Genius Bars with Genius Groves, which are areas that were focused on repairs and assistance that didn't involve lines.
While this might sound like a good idea on paper, some customers say it doesn't work in practice and makes for a very confusing shopping experience.
Despite this slightly confusing setup, Apple's store was the winner overall.