Microsoft Abandons Physical Stores
Microsoft will permanently close all of its retail shops across the globe. The move is a part of a shift to a new digital sales strategy sparked by growth in online purchases.
Four locations in London, New York, Sydney, and Redmond will be reconfigured as customer experience centres. Stores closed in March due to the pandemic. The company said it expects to book a $450 million charge in the current quarter, primarily from asset write-offs associated with making the move permanent. The company said that the retail team members will serve consumers, small-business, education, and enterprise customers, while building a pipeline of talent with transferable skills.
“Our sales have grown online as our product portfolio has evolved to largely digital offerings, and our talented team has proven success serving customers beyond any physical location,” said Microsoft Corporate Vice President David Porter. “We are grateful to our customers and we look forward to continuing to serve them online and with our retail sales team at Microsoft corporate locations.”
The company noted its digital storefronts collectively serve 1.2 billion people every month in 190 markets. It said it would continue to invest in new digital assets for these, noting it already launched video chat support, online tutorials and virtual workshops.