Microsoft is closing almost all of its retail stores

Joanna Estrada
June 29, 2020

Microsoft even turned to George Blankenship, a man who helped build Apple's own retail stores, to design its Microsoft Stores. The thousands of workers from the outlets have already transitioned to the digital effort and will continue in those roles, the company said. The company went on to open stores across the USA, primarily in malls.

Microsoft said that the closure of its physical stores reflects a shift to online purchasing.

They called this a strategic change in operations. Microsoft noted in its statement that its retail employees have been working with customers from the company's corporate locations or remotely since the pandemic began. MS Store staff will continue on and focus on digital sales, training, and tech support. In the case of Microsoft, the company recently announced that it will be closing all of its physical outlets, permanently. The company will direct the retail team's personnel for online sales and support, and customers will continue to receive the service as before. The reason Apple Stores generate strong foot traffic is that people like and want to walk into them.

According to Microsoft's news release, the closing of all physical stores will result in a pre-tax charge of approximately $450M. "That said, in this COVID-19 environment, this was the right time for Redmond to rip the band-aid off and close the stores strategically speaking, with a one-time charge being primarily overlooked by (Wall Street)".

The Microsoft Store is survived by its digital counterpart and the company's 1-800 technical support hotline.

Microsoft emphasized that and the Xbox and Windows storefronts reach "up to 1.2 billion monthly customers in 190 markets".

The company said that a handful of flagship locations, including its sole United Kingdom store in London, would remain open as "experience centres", but that it would shift entirely to online sales. However, the bad news is what this transition is going to cost for Microsoft.

Although the Surface Duo is still available this year, dual-screen Surface Neo devices have also to be shipped delayed during the holidays.

Microsoft's stores offered a wide selection of Windows 10 hardware from third-party vendors, including many products you can't find at your local Best Buy. The team supported communities by hosting more than 14,000 online workshops and summer camps and more than 3,000 virtual graduations. "It is a new day for how Microsoft Store team members will serve all customers".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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