Microsoft to permanently close its retail stores

File: The estimated 100 Microsoft stores closed due to the coronavirus pandemic will not reopen as the tech giant enters "a new approach to retail".

File: The estimated 100 Microsoft stores closed due to the coronavirus pandemic will not reopen as the tech giant enters "a new approach to retail".

AFP/Drew Angerer

SAN FRANCISCO - Microsoft said it will close its stores around the world, moving its retail operations online and keeping only four locations that will be transformed into "experience centres."

The move means the estimated 100 Microsoft stores closed due to the coronavirus pandemic will not reopen as the tech giant enters "a new approach to retail," according to a statement.

"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 statement said.

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The four locations that will become Microsoft Experience Centers are in London, New York, Sydney and at the company's Redmond, Washington headquarters.

Retail team members will "serve customers from Microsoft corporate facilities and remotely providing sales, training, and support," the company said.

Microsoft said it will set aside $450-million to cover the costs of closing the locations.

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"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," said Microsoft corporate vice president David Porter.

"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."

Source
AFP