Microsoft has confirmed that they are closing their retail stores – a total of 82 locations according to the Microsoft website, spread globally across the UK, US, Australia and Puerto Rico.
In a statement from Microsoft, it is stated that current retail employees will be moved to work remotely and in Microsoft’s corporate facilities providing sales, training, and support. Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz regarding layoffs, Microsoft remarked that “All employees will have the opportunity to stay with Microsoft.” The company is focusing on its digital presence, which reaches over 1.2 billion people every month in 190 markets.
The closure of these locations will result in a pre-tax charge of approximately $450M, or $0.05 per share, to be recorded in the current quarter ending June 30, 2020. This largely comes from asset write-offs and impairments.
Additionally, Microsoft is looking to repurpose some of its stores, and will open four “Microsoft Experience Centers” – one each in London, New York, Sydney and the Redmond campus locations.
“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. “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.”
“It is a new day for how Microsoft Store team members will serve all customers. We are energized about the opportunity to innovate in how we engage with all customers, maximize our talent for greatest impact, and most importantly help our valued customers achieve more.”