Microsoft decided to close its retail stores permanently. Now, Apple is also looking to re-close its retail stores in the United States amid increasing infections rate of COVID-19. Microsoft announced in a news post about a strategic change in its retail operations with the result being the closure of all but 4 of its retail locations. So, the stores in New York City, Sydney, London, and on the Redmond campus will be converted into Microsoft Experience Centers. The Corporate Vice President of the company David Porter said Microsoft is focusing its shopping efforts on online-only experiences. He 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”.
Porter added, “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”. Point to be noted that retail employees aren’t losing their jobs. Instead, Microsoft says they’ll continue to serve customers remotely or from Microsoft corporate facilities once we’re through this pandemic. All of Microsoft’s retail locations are already closed, but the permanent closure is expected to cost the company a pre-tax charge of $450 million. Porter commented with regards to the future of retail staff. He said, “We deliberately built teams with unique backgrounds and skills that could serve customers from anywhere.
The Corporate VP added, “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. Speaking over 120 languages, their diversity reflects the many communities we serve. Our commitment to growing and developing careers from this talent pool is stronger than ever”. Point to be noted that Microsoft operates 116 stores worldwide and decided to close them permanently removes the need to figure out how to re-open with social distancing in mind, it does remove key locations for showing off the Xbox Series X later this year ahead of the console’s launch.