Technology giant Microsoft has announced it is closing all of its brick and mortar Microsoft Stores and will be focusing on selling its products online in the future.
In a LinkedIn post, the company said it is making “a strategic change in our retail operations, including closing Microsoft Store physical locations.” It made reference to the ongoing global pandemic and also stated that its “hardware and software sales have continued to shift online,” particularly in terms of digital products like Microsoft 365 and games from the Xbox Store.
The company’s statement says, “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.”
A Microsoft representative confirmed to Digital Trends that all affected employees will be offered the opportunity to stay within the company, working to support customers in sales or training-type roles. Some will work from Microsoft corporate offices while others will work from home.
In an announcement, Microsoft Corporate Vice President David Porter confirmed that the retail team will continue to serve in customer-facing-type rolls, and that the recent need to work from home had demonstrated their flexibility. “We deliberately built teams with unique backgrounds and skills that could serve customers from anywhere,” he 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. Speaking over 120 languages, their diversity reflects the many communities we serve. Our commitment to growing and developing careers from this talent pool is stronger than ever.”
Updated 26th June: Added information about affected employees and statement from David Porter.