Microsoft Friday announced that they are going to close all physical stores in the US and all over the world except four stores. This four-store will be ‘reimagined’ into the experience center which will not sell any products. These four stores are located in New York City (Fifth Ave), London (Oxford Circus), Sydney (Westfield Sydney), and the Redmond campus location.
Going forward Microsoft will sell all their products digitally. In a statement, Microsoft said that “Microsoft will continue to invest in its digital storefronts on Microsoft.com, and stores in Xbox and Windows.” Microsoft said that Microsoft.com and the Xbox and Windows storefronts reach “up to 1.2 billion monthly customers in 190 markets.”
“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. 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,” said Microsoft Corporate Vice President David Porter.
According to Microsoft, this decision will result in up to $450 million to cover the costs of closing the locations. Microsoft said that they will not lay off any of the retail store employees. “The retail team members will serve consumers, small-business, education, and enterprise customers while building a pipeline of talent with transferable skills,” said Microsoft.
Microsoft Store first started in 2009 to rival the success of Apple Store. At the time of closing, it has total 83 stores spread across 72 stores in the US, seven in Canada and one each in the UK, Australia, Puerto Rico, and Finland. These Microsoft retail stores focussed on the Surface tablets and laptops as well as Xbox gaming gear. But failed to gain momentum like its rival Apple did.