Microsoft to Close Its Retail Stores

29 Juin, 2020, 19:52 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Microsoft Store

Washington based software giant Microsoft Corp said on Friday it would close its retail stores and take a related pretax asset impairment charge of $450 million in the current quarter.

According to its website, Microsoft operates more than 70 us stores in 31 states.

Microsoft's retail stores mimic the look and feel of Apple's iconic sales fronts, from the glass walls to the wood tables to the very design of the Surface hardware on display.

Four of its premium locations will be retained - New York City (Fifth Ave), London (Oxford Circus), Sydney (Westfield Sydney), and the Redmond campus location - to be reconfigured as "experience centres". In some cases, like with Microsoft, companies have permanently closed retail locations. It sounds like Microsoft Store employees will be kept on in digital, training, and generally helping small business and enterprise with Microsoft products.

The company said its retail staff will serve customers from corporate facilities and remotely, providing sales, training and support.

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As physical stores went offline, Microsoft asserts that it has enjoyed "significant growth", of its digital storefronts including Microsoft.com, and stores on Xbox and Windows.

Closing physical stores is a "tough, but smart strategic decision" by Microsoft, Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives wrote in a note to clients. Retailers, whose stores shuttered in mid-March due to coronavirus-prompted lockdowns, have seen a huge surge in online demand amid stay-at-home orders.

Microsoft distributes its retail packaged products primarily through independent, non-exclusive distributors, authorised replicators, resellers and retail outlets, and it distributes its devices through third-party retailers. Microsoft says that its team members have hosted more than 14,000 online workshops and summer camps and more than 3,000 virtual graduations too. Microsoft's Cloud Solution Provider program is its main partner program for reselling cloud services.

"We deliberately built teams with unique backgrounds and skills that could serve customers from anywhere".

The closure of the physical stores will result in a pre-tax charge of almost $450 million (Dh1.7 billion), or $0.05 per share, in the current quarter ending on June 30, the company said. "The evolution of our workforce ensured we could continue to serve customers of all sizes when they needed us most, working remotely these last months".

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