Microsoft has announced that they’re closing some of their physical stores, giving up on their retail footprint around the world.
The company has put up a list of the stores being closed online. The list is made up of 82 different stores in the UK, US, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Australia.
Microsoft will take a pre-tax charge of about $450 million for the quarter that ends on the 30th of June 2020. This mostly comes from the writing-off of assets and impairments. The company has added that all retail staff will retain their jobs, though they will work remotely on sales, training, and providing support to customers.
Microsoft may be closing their stores, but they’re also working on reimagining new spaces that will serve customers. Off the back of this, Microsoft is opening four Microsoft Experience Centers, one each in London, Sydney, New York City, and at the company’s Redmond Washington campus.
David Porter, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President, explained that as the company’s products have evolved, sales have shifted more to digital platforms. In addition, the teams that the company has in place have shown how well they can provide support to consumers without either of them needing to meet in a brick and mortar location.
While the Microsoft Stores are closing, the company hopes to continue to provide support to their customers in exactly the same way moving forward. There may not be physical locations that someone can go to in order to have their computer looked at, but they can get the help they need online.
Consumers across most markets have shown a preference for online shopping and customer support in recent years. The current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced many people who would normally use physical stores to instead look online. This in turn has made them realize how easy it is to do everything that they want to do digitally.
Clearly Microsoft has seen a shift in their customer base, and wants to work with them to provide the best service possible, without falling behind by keeping their physical stores open. This shift should be a good move for the company, and the Microsoft Experience Centers give people a chance to try out their products before buying them, if they really want to.