Tech giant Microsoft Corporation on Friday announced that it will close all its Microsoft Store locations around the world, except for four locations that will be “reimagined” as experience centers that no longer sell products. The company said its retail team members will continue to serve customers from Microsoft corporate facilities and remotely providing sales, training, and support.
Only stores in London, New York City, Sydney, and Redmond will be open. The company says Microsoft.com, and the Xbox and Windows storefronts reach “up to 1.2 billion monthly customers in 190 markets.”
“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 Microsoft Store customers and we look forward to continuing to serve them online and with our retail sales team at Microsoft corporate locations.”
Although, an American news outlet has reported that Microsoft says there will be no layoff due to this decision.
In a statement, the tech giant said since its physical retail outlets closed in late March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, "the retail team has helped small businesses and education customers digitally transform; virtually trained hundreds of thousands of enterprise and education customers on remote work and learning software, and helped customers with support calls". It said 14,000 online workshops were held by its retail team.
“Speaking over 120 languages, their diversity reflects the many communities we serve. Our commitment to growing and developing careers from this talent pool is stronger than ever,” said Porter.
With significant growth through its digital storefronts, including Microsoft.com, and stores on Xbox and Windows, the company said it will continue to invest in digital innovation across software and hardware.
“It is a new day for how Microsoft Store team members will serve all customers,” said Porter. “We are energized about the opportunity to innovate in how we engage with all customers, maximize our talent for greatest impact, and most importantly help our valued customers achieve more.”
(quotes from press release)