Microsoft to close all its retail stores

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Microsoft to close all its retail stores

"New approach to retail" means online only sales.

All physical Microsoft stores around the world will be closed permanently this year after 11 years of operation.

The move follows Microsoft being forced to close its stores in March this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the 83 stores worldwide, 72 are in the United States.

Microsoft's Westfield Sydney location will be turned into an "experience centre" - along with those in New York and London. These won't sell any products.

The company's Redmond campus will also become an experience centre, Microsoft Store vice president David Porter said.

Instead of the physical stores, Microsoft intends to focus on online retailing, through which it already reaches 1.2 billion customers in 190 markets, Porter said.

No staff redundancies are expected due to the store closures, with employees being redeployed to the main Microsoft campus in Redmond, and to work remotely to serve customers through video chats, online tutorials and virtual workshops.

“It is a new day for how Microsoft Store team members will serve all customers,” Porter said

“We are energised about the opportunity to innovate in how we engage with all customers, maximise our talent for greatest impact, and most importantly help our valued customers achieve more,” he added.

Microsoft will take a pre-tax charge of US$450 million to cover asset write-offs and impairments following the store closures.

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