Microsoft on Friday announced that it is going to permanently close all of its retail stores not only in the United States but also across the world. Like other retailers, Microsoft had to temporarily close all of its stores in late March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The four locations - New York City (Fifth Ave), London (Oxford Circus), Sydney (Westfield Sydney), and the Redmond campus will not sell products but will be used as experience centres.
The company is sketching out the plans to invest in its digital storefronts on Microsoft.com and the Xbox and Windows and want to reach up to 1.2 billion monthly customers in 190 markets. There are 83 stores worldwide, including 72 stores in the US and several others abroad.
Microsoft Store Vice President David Porter speaking to a website said that, "Our commitment to growing and developing careers from this diverse talent pool is stronger than ever. 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."
Microsoft in a blog post said that the company has continued to pay for team members through the pandemic and further added that, “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.”
The closure of the retail stores would result in pre-tax charge of approximately $450M, or $0.05 per share, to be taken in the current quarter ending June 30, 2020. Microsoft Chief People Officer Kathleen Hogan asserted that “The Microsoft team is working hard in attracting, motivating, and developing diverse talent and this is so useful for Microsoft to create opportunities for thousands of people.”