Microsoft shuts all retail stores as part of strategic change in ops

Microsoft will be closing all its physical as a strategic change in its retail operations. The company’s retail team members will continue to serve customers from Microsoft corporate facilities and remotely providing sales, training, and support. Currently, Microsoft has 83 physical stores, majority in the US. The tech giant does not have a physical store in the APAC region. 

According to Microsoft, the closing of Microsoft Store physical locations will result in a pre-tax charge of approximately US$450m, to be recorded in the current quarter ending 30 June 2020. The Microsoft Store locations have been closed since late March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the retail team has pivoted to aid small businesses and customers digitally transform.

In addition, Microsoft aims to continue investing in its digital storefronts on Microsoft.com, and stores in Xbox and Windows, reaching more than 1.2 billion people every month in 190 markets. The company also looks to reimagine spaces that serve all customers, including operating Microsoft Experience Centers in London, NYC, Sydney, and Redmond campus locations.

Microsoft corporate vice president David Porter said the company sales have grown online as its product portfolio has evolved to largely digital offerings, and its team has proven success serving customers beyond any physical location.

Porter added that the company deliberately built teams with unique backgrounds and skills that could serve customers from anywhere. “The evolution of our workforce ensured we could continue to serve customers of all sizes when they needed us most, working remotely these last months. Our commitment to growing and developing careers from this talent pool is stronger than ever,” he said.

Earlier this year, Microsoft Asia appointed Ahmed Mazhari as the new president and corporate vice president of Microsoft Corporation to accelerate digital transformation in the region. Mazhari was brought in from General Electric to harness his experience in leading and implementing digital transformation and fostering strong collaboration between organisations, and spearhead Microsoft’s work in the region. 

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