Microsoft Is Closing Its Retail Stores – Calls It a New Day for Microsoft Store
After 11 years, Microsoft is closing doors on its retail stores refocusing its efforts on digital sales. "As part of our business plan, we announced a strategic change in our retail operations, including closing Microsoft Store physical locations," David Porter, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Store made the announcement in a LinkedIn post today.
"Our retail team members will continue to serve customers working from Microsoft corporate facilities or remotely and we will continue to develop our diverse team in support of the overall company mission and objectives."
In a press release, the Redmond tech giant confirmed closing all retail physical locations. "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 press release reads.
The announcement comes after the company decided to temporarily close Microsoft Store locations in late March due to COVID-19 pandemic. Apparently, since then the company has realized its retail team can help consumers and businesses digitally through its online stores and services. Microsoft said that its retail team has hosted over 14,000 online workshops and summer camps and over 3,000 virtual graduations.
The good news is that the company plans to continue employing retail salespeople who will focus on sales, training and support for small businesses, consumers, and enterprises. It appears the decision to close stores during the COVID-19 lockdown helped the company test this process of moving retail employees to digitally assist and train its customer base.
"New services include 1:1 video chat support, online tutorial videos, and virtual workshops with more digital solutions to come." - Microsoft
The Windows maker also said that the flagship Microsoft Experience Centers in London, NYC, Sydney, and Redmond campus will be reimagined. "We will continue to co-locate engineering, sales, support, envisioning centers, executive briefing centers, and retail spaces for maximum impact for our customers and our company," Porter said.
"We are excited for this new day, the future of our business, and the ongoing opportunity and development of every team member of Microsoft Store."