The company says it will continue to operate its Microsoft Experience Centers in, London, Sydney, and at its Redmond, Washington, campus.
This business move will cost Microsoft $450 million in pre-tax charges, which is par for the course for loss-incurred shutdowns. Microsoft stores are nearly always empty. The company went on to open stores across the US, primarily in malls.
Microsoft, like Apple, has had physical retail stores for years, albeit on a smaller, less successful scale. Apple Inc. has reopened its retail sites only to shut more than 30 of them again as the virus resurges in some locations. Each store showcases Microsoft's Surface and Xbox hardware and some third-party personal computers. New services include 1:1 video chat support, online tutorial videos, and virtual workshops with more digital solutions to come.
Microsoft emphasized that Microsoft.com and the Xbox and Windows storefronts reach "up to 1.2 billion monthly customers in 190 markets". There are now more than 100 stores globally.
As the concept of "shopping" in a "store" became anathema to an increasingly covid-averse public, Microsoft's stores were shuttered, and their approximately 2,000 associates were reallocated toward remote customer service.
Seeing a laptop before you purchase it is always nice, particularly when it's a system as expensive as the Microsoft Surface.