June 29, 2020 | Tech | No Comments
On Friday, Microsoft announced that it was permanently closing all of its physical retail stores. The software giant says that it will focus its efforts on its online storefront at Microsoft.com.
Microsoft has operated physical retail stores for about a decade. At its peak, the company had 116 locations around the world, including 106 in the United States. Microsoft says that there will be no layoffs as a result of the decision.
The company says it will continue to operate its Microsoft Experience Centers in New York City, London, Sydney, and at its Redmond, Washington, campus. These locations, however, will not sell products.
“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 VP David Porter in a statement. Porter detailed the shift in strategy in a post published on LinkedIn.
All Microsoft Stores have been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic since March 16. Microsoft noted in its statement that its retail employees have been working with customers from the company’s corporate locations or remotely since the pandemic began.
Even as some other electronics retailers like Best Buy and Apple started to reopen their retail locations over the past month, Microsoft’s retail locations remained shuttered. This did not go unnoticed. The Verge reached out to Microsoft to inquire about its stores reopening just 10 days ago. The company provided a statement at the time that said it was “prioritizing the health and safety of its employees and customers.”
This isn’t the first time Microsoft has shifted strategy on its physical retail locations. About a year ago, the company closed down its specialty kiosks, which were typically found in malls. The decision to close these small spots was made, according to the company, to focus on its full-scale Microsoft Stores.Microsoft Stores, world