Microsoft has announced that the company is shutting down all of its physical stores worldwide. It is not laying off employees and has added that the retail employees will continue to serve customers through the company’s corporate offices and remotely, providing support, sales, and training.
Although the stores are shutting down, Microsoft will be operating “Experience Centers” for customers in New York City, London, Sydney, and Redmond, Washington. Apart from that, it will continue operating an online storefront.
Making the announcement, the company made reference to the ongoing global pandemic and also stated that its “hardware and software sales have continued to shift online,” particularly for digital products like Microsoft 365 and games for Xbox.
Microsoft Corporate Vice President David Porter said: “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.”
According to the report from The Verge, the plan of shutting down physical stores was originally in place for next year but was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shutting down of Microsoft Stores means that you’ll now have to look at other places to experience the upcoming Xbox Series X gaming console as well as the Surface Neo and Surface Duo devices when they get launched.