Microsoft Is Permanently Shutting Down All 83 of Its Retail Stores

Microsoft Is Permanently Shutting Down All 83 of Its Retail Stores”

"As part of our business plan, we announced a strategic change in our retail operations, including closing Microsoft Store physical locations".

In April, Microsoft described in a blog post, how many of its retail store associates had started working remotely after their everyday jobs were sidelined due to COVID-19.

Microsoft temporarily closed its physical stores back in March in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, just like many other companies.

The order affects all Microsoft's retail stores located around the world; Only four locations - located within New York, London, Sydney, and Redmond - will be "reimagined" as experience centres, but neither of these stores will be fitted to sell any products.

Microsoft said it will set aside $450 million to cover the costs of closing the locations. "The charge includes primarily asset write-offs and impairments", the company said today. Personally I can't vouch for how one stacked up against the other, as I've never set foot inside a Microsoft store, but I'm told they had technical support staff, devices to try out, and game consoles to play. The company went on to open stores across the USA, primarily in malls.

The decision comes nearly 11 years after the Redmond, Wash. -based technology giant opened its first retail store in Scottsdale, Ariz., in 2009 - on the same day that it launched Windows 7 - to better compete against Apple and its popular retail stores.

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Microsoft has more than 70 US stores; seven in Canada; and one each in Puerto Rico, Australia, and England.

Microsoft entered the brick-and-mortar store business much later than Apple, which now has more than 500 retail locations.

"Microsoft will continue to invest in its digital storefronts on, and stores in Xbox and Windows", the statement said. Each store showcased Microsoft's Xbox and Surface hardware, as well as a selection of third-party PCs.

Seeing a laptop before you purchase it is always nice, particularly when it's a system as expensive as the Microsoft Surface.

The move comes as most shopping continues to swerve into online environments, and Microsoft's selection of goods and services is progressing alongside that change.

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