Media reported that Bose, a well-known maker of audio products, would close all of its retail stores in North America, Europe, Japan and Australia, and hundreds of employees would be laid off. The company announced the decision earlier, noting that its headsets, speakers and other products are increasingly relying on e-commerce channels for sales. Back in 1993, the company opened its first brick-and-mortar retail store, with locations in shopping centers across the United States.
(Image via TheVerge)
Bose uses stores to showcase products such as the iconic noise-cancelling headset and smart sunglasses with speakers. Bose has a similar display area at retail outlets such as Best Buy, although there is more competition in this case.
Bose, a private company based in Framingham, Massachusetts, did not say how many employees the move would affect. Colette Burke, the company’s vice president of global sales, says:
Initially, our retail stores provided our customers with a multi-component, CD- and DVD-based approach to home entertainment systems that included experience, testing, and discussion.
Even at the time, it was a rather radical idea. But we focus on and understand the needs of our customers, and we are doing the same thing now.
Over the next few months, Bose will close a total of 119 direct retail stores in North America, Europe, Japan and Australia, but will provide severance compensation and assistance to laid-off employees.
After that, consumers in these areas can purchase through Bose’s website, third-party retail channels, or online platforms such as Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Apple.
However, stores in other parts of the world will continue to operate, including about 130 in Greater China and the United Arab Emirates, as well as other stores in India, Southeast Asia and South Korea.