Microsoft confirms it is closing all its physical retail stores globally

Credit Dreamstime

Credit Dreamstime

"As part of our business plan, we announced a strategic change in our retail operations, including closing Microsoft Store physical locations". This includes asset write-offs and impairments.

The company says that all of its retail employees will help on the website instead of in-store, and all of them will have opportunities to stay with Microsoft.

"We deliberately built teams with unique backgrounds and skills that could serve customers from anywhere", Porter said.

Microsoft Stores debuted in 2009, serving as a showcase for Surface, Xbox, and other PCs, as well as information centres for Windows itself. The company said it will keep physical locations in New York, Sydney, London and at its Redmond campus in Washington, which it will convert into experience centres.

The company said its retail staff will serve customers from corporate facilities and remotely, providing sales, training and support.

The decision comes nearly 11 years after the technology giant opened its first United States retail store in 2009 - on the same day that it launched Windows 7 - to better compete against Apple and its popular retail stores. The company has 271 USA retail locations though it has temporarily closed 32 of those stores since last week amid rising coronavirus case counts in several states.

Meghan wants Prince Harry to Love LA as much as she does
Many clubrooms turned into food drop-off centres where meals are prepared, cooked and delivered to NHS workers, care homes and the vulnerable. "I wasn't sure what I could say to you", she began.

Microsoft-owned Windows is one of the most widely-used operating systems in the world.

Microsoft will start focusing on digital retail through Microsoft.com as well as Windows and Xbox storefronts, which reach up to 1.2 billion monthly customers in over 190 markets.

The company also vows to beef up the digital version of the Microsoft Store with "virtual customer support from our trusted experts, online tutorial videos, virtual workshops with tips and much more", including personal video sales support calls.

Microsoft's hardware and software sales have continued to shift online as its product portfolio has evolved to digital products including Microsoft 365, gaming and entertainment, according to Porter.

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". Often, Microsoft Stores were found on the opposite of or in close vicinity to Apple Stores.

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