Microsoft to Close Down All Retail Stores

Microsoft to Close Down All Retail Stores

So, instead of offering service in-store, it will only be done at corporate facilities or online where team members will provide support remotely.

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. Microsoft even established a store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, just a few steps away from Apple's iconic glass cube store.

Last week, Microsoft said that it was listening to public health and safety experts before reopening the stores.

The Microsoft Store retail store debuted in 2009 and closely followed Apple's successful retail strategy. Mostly, I remember people protesting outside of its flagship 5th Avenue location in NY. It had started opening more retail stores across the world over the past decade and tried to compete with Apple in retail space.

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There are approximately 72 stores in the United States, and several others overseas showcasing and selling laptops and other hardware.

Microsoft's hardware and software sales have continued to shift online as its product portfolio has evolved to digital products including Microsoft 365, gaming and entertainment, according to Porter.

Microsoft emphasized that Microsoft.com and the Xbox and Windows storefronts reach "up to 1.2 billion monthly customers in 190 markets". "New services include 1:1 video chat support, online tutorial videos, and virtual workshops with more digital solutions to come". Every time you pass one of their stores, they are always jampacked - and likely the only thing keeping malls in business these days. A company spokesperson told CNBC that "all Microsoft employees will have the opportunity to stay", though it's unclear in what capacity.

In the face of Covid, Microsoft has announced a new approach to retail that involves shutting most of its brick-and-mortar stores and converting the remainder into experiential playgrounds. While that's changed with the Microsoft Surface and Xbox, Microsoft has never had an iPhone-sized hit to build a retail experience around.

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