Skip to comments.It's now safe to turn off your computer shop: Microsoft to shutter its bricks-and-mortar retail locations worldwide
Posted on 06/29/2020 9:02:21 AM PDT by dayglored
'Reimagined' flagships to endure, but that place you used to go to when the Apple Store was too busy is going away
Microsoft has a new approach to retail. One, it appears, that does not involve its physical store locations.
In a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, the company has announced what it calls "a strategic change in its retail operations".
Or, in other words, shutting down its network of physical Microsoft Stores and going digital-only via Microsoft.com and Xbox.
The company said it would be taking a pre-tax charge of approximately $450m to do the deed, which will show up in the quarter ending 30 June 2020.
The company closed its locations during March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and put the retail team to work servicing customers online. Having spent the last few months at home, the gang won't be troubling the stores again and will instead build "a pipeline of talent with transferable skills" while continuing to look after consumers, small businesses, education and enterprise customers.
The four flagship stores at the company's own Redmond campus, New York, Sydney and the just opened London corner will remain and be "reimagined".
The move is unsurprising. Microsoft's physical retail adventure began in the late 2000s as the company looked with envious eyes at the antics of rival Apple. Where the fruity firm flung iPods and Macs, Microsoft could offer Zunes and PCs pre-loaded with Vista. It hasn't been a rip-roaring success.
The axe began swinging last year as the company closed its network of US pop-up kiosks, with little notice being given to employees. Its flagship London store opened less than a year ago, but even a McLaren Senna sportscar in the window failed to pull in the crowds.
David Porter, corporate vice president for Microsoft Store, said "our hardware and software sales have continued to shift online" and with pretty much no consumer play left now, other than Xbox, keeping open a network of stores so punters can look at Surface devices before they pop next door for an iPad seems a bit pointless.
Never mind, you'll still be able to enjoy that retail experience if you live in New York, London, Sydney or have access to the company's Redmond campus. Otherwise, it's online-only if you can't make that shiny new Surface work.
RIP to Microsoft's physical retail stores. It's yet another marker in the company's consumer graveyard not too far from Mixer. ®
"Re-imagined" strikes me as a nice, PC way of saying "re-purposed".
We just purchased an Apple iPad The buyer, a typical amazon dependent shopper since 10 years ago in HS, said forge ahead to the store masks and all. Not ordering such a thing to be stolen en route. No way.
They went from 135 to 200 in a blink. wow.
while the forward P/E ratios aren’t as insane as the late 90s ones (100), they are kinda high but analysts see msft making a whole lotta money the next few years.
And I don’t know if that court case against them regarding the 10 Billion defense contract, once resolved and if in their favor will make it go even higher.
A pity - I liked seeing the competition for the Apple Store, and I ended up buying a Surface tablet from the MS store at the local mall.
When I purchased my iMac several years ago, I carefully chose the pickup store, one in a very affluent Long Island town with a parking lot so I could roll right up to the store. No WAY was I picking it up in Manhattan and riding the subway with a large box proclaiming Apple iMac on it. I'd never have made it home with the computer, you can bet on it.
In big letters write WORK BOOTS on the box. nobody will ever bother you.
Huh? So I can’t take my busted Dell PC to the Microsoft store to get it fixed?
Who EVER did that?
Once again, Microsoft is primarily a SOFTWARE company.
Still, I not only loved the stores, I volunteered in several of them.
Sad to see them go.
Oh ya north shore. Yep Thats what Id have done.
I was scrambling is right out of this Texan affluent mall straight home scenic route.
No mail order thats for sure
They had stores?
A good description of SEPTA and similar inner city governmental agencies, but I digress.
I have been buying computers since 1989, and I don't think I have ever bought one from a store. My next one might be bought from a store, but that will be because my daughter works at a hole-in-the-wall computer repair shop that rebuilds business laptops and builds custom gamer desktops.
> A good description of SEPTA and similar inner city > governmental agencies, but I digress.
LOL, I used to live in Philly. SEPTA, ah, what a memory...
Well, it’s empty and only one lone person going in, so I can see why they closed. I really had no idea they had stores.
Microsoft Azure is winning the defense cloud wars. It seems defense is putting everything into Azure verses Amazon’s AWS. I’ve been on many meeting this past year with zero talk about AWS and all efforts concentrated on Azure. Gov Cloud and Secured Gov Cloud are all Azure.
Have you *read* their EULA? They own your computer.
There is a MicroSoft store across from an Apple store in our local mall. Apple store is always busy, and the MS store rarely has even one customer.
Microsoft had so few stores I never knew they had any.
I wish some retailer would takeover these stores and sell all brands catering only to computer related products.
The stores would hold game nights on weekends for kids and teens. Almost certainly kids would coax their parents into buying equipment, peripherals, and accessories.
It was also nice to get to touch new lines of computer products, to absorb their look and feel.
There’s still Best Buy but it’s not the same.
Fry’s Electronics is weird. Their store aisles had become like ghost allies, lots of signs but no inventory. Kid you not. Maybe they’re gone by now. Haven’t checked on them in months. Last I asked one of their floor people where’s the inventory? He said it was on order. He later told me he was just hired. WTH?
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