Microsoft to close all its retail stores - Hardware - Software

  • Microsoft to close all its retail stores - Hardware - Software

Microsoft to close all its retail stores - Hardware - Software

Microsoft has confirmed it is closing all of its Microsoft Store locations across the world.

Microsoft Corp said on Friday it would close its retail stores and take a related pretax asset impairment charge of $450 million in the current quarter.

"The past months have been extraordinary ... amidst the challenges, our team has focused on how we can continue to serve our customers", David Porter, corporate vice president of Microsoft Store, said.

"We deliberately built teams with unique backgrounds and skills that could serve customers from anywhere". These are locations in New York, London, Sydney and Redmond. They will showcase new technologies but will not sell anything.

In late March, the company's stores closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and stay-in-place orders aimed at cutting the virus' spread.

The decision comes nearly 11 years after the technology giant opened its first USA retail store in 2009 - on the same day that it launched Windows 7 - to better compete against Apple and its popular retail stores. Currently, it has 72 stores in the USA, seven in Canada and one each in the UK, Australia, Puerto Rico and Finland.

As physical stores went offline, Microsoft asserts that it has enjoyed "significant growth", of its digital storefronts including Microsoft.com, and stores on Xbox and Windows.

No staff redundancies are expected due to the store closures, with employees being redeployed to the main Microsoft campus in Redmond, and to work remotely to serve customers through video chats, online tutorials and virtual workshops.

"We will continue to invest in digital solutions, including new services such as one-to-one video sales support", said Mr Porter. Just last week the company announced it was shuttering its streaming platform Mixer in a merger with Facebook Gaming. "The evolution of our workforce ensured we could continue to serve customers of all sizes when they needed us most, working remotely these last months".

You have to imagine that shutting down the retail stores will cost many people their jobs, but Porter only stated that "our commitment to growing and developing careers from this diverse talent pool is stronger than ever".

"This is a tough but smart strategic decision for (Chief Executive) Nadella & Co.to make at this point".