Microsoft will be shutting down all of its physical retail stores around the world in order to develop its digital presence (via MCV/Develop).
A total of 82 locations will be closed across the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, and Puerto Rico. The employees will transition into a remote role to offer sales, training, and support for customers, and “all employees will have the opportunity to stay with Microsoft” should they wish to do so.
“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,” said David Porter, corporate vice president for Microsoft. “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.”
The company will not become wholly digital, though. There will be four Microsoft Experience Centers, in London, New York City, Sydney, and on its campus in Redmond, Washington, so to “reimagine spaces that serve all customers.”