Almost all of Microsoft’s retail stores will close for good

Yolanda Curtis
June 29, 2020

Numerous offline retailers across the world have switched to an O2O (online to offline) model where customers can register their interest in a product online on the company's official online store or social media page.

Microsoft Corp. said it will close its physical store locations permanently but will continue to invest in a digital storefront that, along with third-party retailers, has driven sales of products such as the Xbox game player and Surface tablets.

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. With Microsoft Stores gone, the company will continue to develop its digital customer assistance solutions such as 1-on-1 video sales assistance, video tutorials, and more.

It is pulling the plug on almost all of its retail stores, with the exception of four flagship sites in New York, London, Sydney, and Redmond, Washington, transforming these last stores standing into what it's calling "Experience Centers".

Microsoft expects to record a charge of $450 million, or $0.5 a share, during the current fiscal fourth quarter, for asset write-offs and impairments.

Microsoft did not specify whether it would lay off staff due to the closure of a large number of stores.

The four stores that will remain open will be redesigned.

The first Microsoft Store opened in 2009 and was somewhat of a clone of the successful Apple retail store model. Mostly, I remember people protesting outside of its flagship 5th Avenue location in NY. All other stores, consisting of more than 100 global locations, will cease operations.

The Microsoft Store is survived by its digital counterpart and the company's 1-800 technical support hotline. "The evolution of our workforce ensured we could continue to serve customers of all sizes when they needed us most, working remotely these last months", said Porter.

Interestingly enough, Microsoft says it won't fire anyone.

Because of this, the company will reimagine its offerings at certain flagship stores, transforming them into Experience Centers that will provide education and interactive product placements.

Other reports by iNewsToday