2020 is relentless! Microsoft has announced a strategic change to its retail operations that will see it close down almost all of its physical retail stores across the planet.
Including the ones on home turf, the United States.
These outlets have been closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, as the retail industry was hit pretty hard by the ongoing health crisis. But instead of outlining a plan to reopen these stores, the software giant has opted for the nuclear option.
Redmond plans to only keep four of its Microsoft Stores open for customers, and these flagship locations will be transformed into “Microsoft Experience Centers”. These include the locations in New York City, London, Sydney and one inside its Redmond campus.
Corporate Vice President David Porter:
“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. 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.”
This decision will result in an approximately $450 million write-off for the company, or $0.05 per share, which will be recorded in the current quarter ending June 30, 2020.
The pre-tax charge primarily includes asset write-offs and impairments.
All of Microsoft’s retail employees will now move to serve customers, small business, education and enterprise clients through the company’s corporate offices or remotely. All of the retail employees will be given an opportunity to stay with the firm.
They reach up to 1.2 billion customers monthly in over 190 markets worldwide.