Microsoft announced it would permanently close all direct retail stores worldwide, citing changes in the retail environment, coronaviruses and changes in its revenue model. In a friday morning local time announcement, Microsoft said it was implementing “strategic changes” in its retail business, with each of its stores closing as part of the changes and restructuring.
“As our product portfolio has grown primarily to digital products, our sales have grown online, and our talent team has proven the success of serving our customers beyond any physical location,” David Porter, Microsoft’s vice president, said in a statement to the media. “We thank our Microsoft Store customers and we look forward to continuing to provide them with online services and working with our retail sales team at Microsoft’s location.” “
Microsoft said retail team members will continue to serve customers at Microsoft’s facilities and will provide sales, training and support remotely, as they have done since the store closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The company also said it would “continue to invest in its digital stores on Microsoft.com, as well as in Xbox and Windows stores, covering more than 1.2 billion people a month in 190 markets.” “
The Microsoft Experience Centre in London, New York City, Sydney and Redmond campuses will remain open and will be redesigned to serve all customers.
The closure of the Microsoft Store store will result in a pre-tax charge of about $450 million, or $0.05 per share. This fee will be recorded for the quarter ended 30 June 2020, including write-off and impairment of assets.
Microsoft has 116 stores worldwide, 107 of which are in the United States. The first store opened in 1999 and closed in 2001. In 2009, it said it was expanding its retail initiatives, which were launched in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Viejo, California.