Redmond, June 26 (IANS) Microsoft on Friday announced to permanently close its 83 retail stores and will now focus on its online store and retail team members will continue to serve customers from Microsoft corporate facilities and remotely providing sales, training, and support.
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 company will also reimagine spaces that serve all customers, including operating Microsoft Experience Centers in London, NYC, Sydney, and Redmond campus locations.
The closing of Microsoft Store physical locations will result in a pre-tax charge of approximately $450 million, or $0.05 per share, to be recorded in the current quarter ending June 30, 2020.
"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," said Microsoft Corporate Vice President David Porter.
Shares of Microsoft were down about 1.5 per cent on Friday.
"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."
Since the Microsoft Store locations closed in late March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the retail team has helped small businesses and education customers digitally transform; virtually trained hundreds of thousands of enterprise and education customers on remote work and learning software; and helped customers with support calls.
The team supported communities by hosting more than 14,000 online workshops and summer camps and more than 3,000 virtual graduations.
Microsoft said that the retail team members will serve consumers, small-business, education, and enterprise customers, while building a pipeline of talent with transferable skills.
"The Microsoft Store team has long been celebrated at Microsoft and embodies our culture," said Microsoft Chief People Officer Kathleen Hogan.