In order to better serve its customers during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Microsoft has decided to permanently close all but four Microsoft Store locations across the U.S and worldwide. Microsoft says it hopes to “reimagine” the remaining four store locations, announcing plans to turn these stores into experience centers.
“As we look forward, we start a new chapter for Microsoft Store. Our team has proven success serving customers beyond any physical location. We are energized about the opportunity to innovate in how we engage with all customers, optimize our talent for greatest impact, and most importantly – help our valued customers achieve more,” says David Porter, corporate vice president, Microsoft Store, in an official announcement on LinkedIn.
Microsoft says that all current retail employees will remain on the Microsoft Store team and will continue to serve customers from one of the company’s corporate facilities or via remote work.
According to Porter, the company plans to shift its focus to three specific areas to better service customers:
- Team members will continue to serve consumers, small businesses, education, and enterprise customers, focused on sales, training and support. They will work from Microsoft corporate offices and remotely.
- Microsoft will make digital storefronts the best place to learn, buy, and receive support across software and hardware and will continue to invest in innovative digital solutions, including new services such as 1:1 video sales support.
- The company will also reimagine new spaces that serve customers better, including facilities in London, New York City, Sydney and Redmond campus locations. Microsoft will continue to co-locate engineering, sales, support, envisioning centers, executive briefing centers, and retail spaces for maximum impact for customers and the company.
Microsoft did not provide additional context for the retail closure decision, but it is likely a mixture of business concerns (most Microsoft Store locations are in malls or other major retail spaces) and health concerns as the coronavirus remains a global threat.
No matter the reason, the company is remaining positive. “We are excited for this new day, the future of our business, and the ongoing opportunity and development of every team member of Microsoft Store,” adds Porter.