They’ve become a familiar sight in shopping malls, but Microsoft has announced it is permanently closing its retail shops.
The company’s announcement reflects the changing retail landscape in the wake of COVID-19. Like most industries, the pandemic forced Microsoft’s retail employees to work remotely, where they focused on helping customers do the same. As a result, and thanks to the success of that initiative, the company will continue to focus on remote sales teams, providing assistance to customers all over the world.
“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 Microsoft Corporate Vice President David Porter. “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.
“We 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,” continued Porter. “Speaking over 120 languages, their diversity reflects the many communities we serve. Our commitment to growing and developing careers from this talent pool is stronger than ever.”
This is a significant change in the company’s operations and it’s unlikely Microsoft will be the last company to reimagine its retail operations.