Microsoft is closing all its retail brick-and-mortar stores; four reimagined as Experience Centers
It has been less than a year since Microsoft opened its first brick-and-mortar store in Europe and nearly eleven years since the company opened its first physical store. To date, the company has opened 116 stores, but it has now announced that all but a handful will remain closed following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Strictly speaking, Microsoft has closed all brick-and-mortar stores. Only the New York City (Fifth Ave), London (Oxford Circus), Sydney (Westfield Sydney), and the Redmond campus location stores will remain open. However, these will be reimagined as "Microsoft Experience Centers". The company is yet to confirm what changes it will make to its existing stores to "reimagine" them as Experience Centers.
According to company VP David Porter, Microsoft has experienced a surge in online sales, while its "product portfolio has evolved to largely digital offerings". Microsoft adds that existing retail members will continue to serve consumers, small business, education and enterprise customers.
The closure of physical stores will result in a pre-tax charge of approximately US$450 million too. This equates to US$0.05 per share.