Microsoft has announced that it will close its retail stores due to its pandemic COVID-19 and will focus on digital sales, ie its online store at Microsoft.com, where its customers will be able to markets but also to ask for support. THE David Porter, vice president of the Microsoft Store, announced the company's decision on June 26, through a post on LinkedIn. Microsoft will continue to engage retailers, but will focus on sales, education and support for consumers, small businesses and business customers, Porter said. However, Microsoft will not close its stores in London, New York, Sydney and Redmond. Porter said the company would "imagine" them as new spaces that would serve more as centers of experience. However, he did not provide further details on how customers will be able to visit these centers. Microsoft first announced its plans to open retail stores under its brand name in February 2009.
In the last decade or so, Microsoft has begun to expand its retail presence, aiming to create a shopping experience similar to that of Apple, where customers could try a new one software and products created by her and her associates. Microsoft stores have offered users a place to see and test computers Windows, Windows Phones, Consoles Xbox and various third-party computers and phones, including certain phones Android. Some Micrososft stores, such as the New York store, which opened in 2015, also offered showcases for products such as Microsoft HoloLens as well as community / educational spaces.
However, Microsoft's retail stores have never reached the level of Apple. Microsoft has tried a number of tactics to quickly open more retail stores, making moves such as opening holiday pop-ups. bedspread in 2012 as part of the Windows 8 promotion. However, Microsoft has always lagged behind Apple in terms of the number of total stores and the traffic in them.
Microsoft said the closure of its retail stores would result in a pre-tax charge of about $ 450 million, or $ 0,05 per share, as seen in the results for the current quarter ending June 30. Finally, so far there is no clarification on whether there will be redundancies.