The current COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly put a dent in businesses around the world some even having to close their doors permanently. In the case of Microsoft, the company recently announced that it will be closing all of its physical outlets, permanently.
The order affects all Microsoft’s retail stores located around the world; Only four locations – located within New York, London, Sydney, and Redmond – will be “reimagined” as experience centres, but neither of these stores will be fitted to sell any products. Instead, the company responsible for giving us the Windows 10 OS will be shifting its retails effort into the digital ecosystem, moving forward.
Microsoft says that by moving its retail operations in this way will enable Microsoft.com and its other digital storefronts – basically, its Xbox and Windows digital stores – to achieve up to 1.2 billion customers monthly in 190 markets. On a related note, Microsoft says that staff that working at its numerous retail outlets will not be laid off and instead, will be diverted and placed in other divisions within the company.
It goes without saying that Microsoft’s decision is a big one, but the tech giant itself had told The Verge that this was its initial plan for a long time; the company had planned on making the announcement next year, but the COVID-19 pandemic changed all that, forcing the company to accelerate its plan ahead of time.
(Source: The Verge // Image: The Verge)