Microsoft is giving up on its retail stores! In a huge development, Redmond giant has announced a strategic change in its retail operations, including closing Microsoft Store physical locations except for four locations.
The company will also reimagine spaces that serve all customers, including operating Microsoft Experience Centers in London, NYC, Sydney, and Redmond campus locations.
According to the company, the retail team members will continue to serve customers from Microsoft corporate facilities and remotely providing sales, training, and support. Meaning there is no layoff as such.
On the other hand, Microsoft will continue to invest in its digital storefronts on Microsoft.com, and stores in Xbox and Windows, reaching more than 1.2 billion people every month in 190 markets.
The closing of Microsoft Store physical locations will result in a pre-tax charge of approximately $450M, or $0.05 per share, to be recorded in the current quarter ending June 30, 2020. The charge includes primarily asset write-offs and impairments.
Since the Microsoft Store locations closed in late March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the retail team has helped small businesses and education customers digitally transform; virtually trained hundreds of thousands of enterprise and education customers on remote work and learning software, and helped customers with support calls. The team supported communities by hosting more than 14,000 online workshops and summer camps and more than 3,000 virtual graduations.
Microsoft Corporate Vice President David Porter, said:
Our sales have grown online as our product portfolio has evolved to largely digital offerings, and our talented team has proven success serving customers beyond any physical location. We are grateful to our Microsoft Store customers, and we look forward to continuing to serve them online and with our retail sales team at Microsoft corporate locations.