Microsoft is permanently closing all of its retail stores

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,316   +120
Staff member
Editor's take: As I suspect we are going to increasingly see, Microsoft over the past few months realized that its brick-and-mortar presence was no longer essential. Instead, Microsoft will move forward with a renewed focus on its digital storefronts and continue to offer new services like 1:1 video chat support and virtual workshops.

Microsoft on Friday announced a dramatic shift in its retail strategy that’ll see the company permanently close all of its physical Microsoft Store locations.

Like many others, Microsoft shut down its retail storefronts in mid-March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Some impacted employees got busy training small business and education customers on how to work remotely during the new normal. Others stepped up to help host workshops, summer camps and virtual graduations, Redmond said.

Microsoft has spent the better part of the past decade building a retail footprint to rival companies like Apple. Its flagship store, on 5th Avenue in New York City, opened its doors in late 2015, just blocks away from Apple’s iconic glass cube store.

The company didn’t mention anything about layoffs in its announcement; it sounds as if most or all of the displaced retail employees will be retrained to work remotely on other tasks.

Microsoft said the closings will result in a pre-tax charge of about $450 million, or $0.05 per share, that’ll be recorded in the current quarter which ends on June 30, 2020.

Image credit: humphery, Tooykrub

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mrvco

Posts: 79   +70
I sort of thought Microsoft Stores had already been shut down, but I can't say I've been anywhere that would have a Microsoft Store (a mall?) in a number of years. Regardless, the couple of times that I did wander into a Microsoft Store it felt helter-skelter and a bit dated, as if a Best Buy and an OG Sharper Image hooked up and made a baby store.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 33   +39
Only MS Store I can think of was at the Mall of America. But I so infrequently visit that mall that maybe that location has already been closed....?

I only live about a 20 minute drive from there (depending on traffic)....Last time I was there was January and that was to take the kids to some birthday party at the Crayola Experience. Before that....probably 2015??? and that's when I noticed they had a Microsoft Store. The mall was busy, like it usually is, but the store was devoid of any customers. Just a handful of employees standing around looking bored.
 

SirDigby

Posts: 600   +250
TechSpot Elite
I thought they only really opened them in the last 10 years, as a response to Apple?

To be honest they devices are available in all PC shops to try and buy so they don't really need a dedicated presence.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,152   +2,057
I remember when I first went into one.... they looked just like Apple Stores.... but with no one inside.... not surprised to see them shut down.
 

JB3543

Posts: 45   +49
I didn't give a c*** that they were open. And I don't give a c*** that they are closed. Microsoft can go f*** themselves.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,152   +2,057
Nope.
Apple is Apple also because of their retail stores.
No... Apple is Apple because of the iPod and iPhone....
Ask Sony how their Sony stores helped them sell hardware... or Samsung...or Bose...

Having your own stores CAN be helpful - but not if you already have huge name recognition and most of your hardware can be purchased elsewhere...
 

MaxSmarties

Posts: 93   +23
No... Apple is Apple because of the iPod and iPhone....
Ask Sony how their Sony stores helped them sell hardware... or Samsung...or Bose...

Having your own stores CAN be helpful - but not if you already have huge name recognition and most of your hardware can be purchased elsewhere...
Again, NO. You seem to know very little about Apple. Apple was very little (compared to today's Apple) at the time of iPod.
And Apple already has Apple Stores at the time of iPhone introduction.
Apple Stores helped Apple to reach customers in a different way.
Sony, Microsoft, Bose ... they tried to mimic Apple, but they failed.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,152   +2,057
Again, NO. You seem to know very little about Apple. Apple was very little (compared to today's Apple) at the time of iPod.
And Apple already has Apple Stores at the time of iPhone introduction.
Apple Stores helped Apple to reach customers in a different way.
Sony, Microsoft, Bose ... they tried to mimic Apple, but they failed.
Really.... please show me your evidence that it’s the Apple stores that “made Apple big”....
Everyone else seems to think it was the iPod....and then, the iPhone...

Also, the first Apple stores opened in 2001.... wait... so did the first ipods!
 

MaxSmarties

Posts: 93   +23
Really.... please show me your evidence that it’s the Apple stores that “made Apple big”....
Everyone else seems to think it was the iPod....and then, the iPhone...

Also, the first Apple stores opened in 2001.... wait... so did the first ipods!
You missed the “ALSO” word in my post above.

it surely Wasn’t the only reason, but it was a very big factor.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,152   +2,057
You missed the “ALSO” word in my post above.

it surely Wasn’t the only reason, but it was a very big factor.
I await your provision of evidence... and I guess you didn’t read MY first post which said that stores don’t help UNLESS YOU ARE APPLE...

I agree that the Apple Stores certainly benefit Apple... they just aren’t the reason that Apple is the titan they are today... that reason is their products - most importantly, the iPod (which made them big) and the iPhone (which keeps them big).
 

MaxSmarties

Posts: 93   +23
I await your provision of evidence... and I guess you didn’t read MY first post which said that stores don’t help UNLESS YOU ARE APPLE...

I agree that the Apple Stores certainly benefit Apple... they just aren’t the reason that Apple is the titan they are today... that reason is their products - most importantly, the iPod (which made them big) and the iPhone (which keeps them big).
You seems to have problems understanding ... Apple Stores are ALSO a big reason customers are so loyal to the brand.
I don't have to prove anything.
It is a fact.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,152   +2,057
You seems to have problems understanding ... Apple Stores are ALSO a big reason customers are so loyal to the brand.
I don't have to prove anything.
It is a fact.
You also didn’t have to post since you admit you agreed with me... but you did anyways... shifting goalposts suits you...

And I do not accept as “fact” that Apple stores are one of the reasons that people are so loyal to Apple..
I will accept that they are tremendously successful (and profitable).... but I think the products are the reason - the stores are simply one of the ways they profit from them.

Apple wasn’t the first company to have their own store - they just did it better than anyone else... and they still do...
 

MaxSmarties

Posts: 93   +23
You also didn’t have to post since you admit you agreed with me... but you did anyways... shifting goalposts suits you...

And I do not accept as “fact” that Apple stores are one of the reasons that people are so loyal to Apple..
I will accept that they are tremendously successful (and profitable).... but I think the products are the reason - the stores are simply one of the ways they profit from them.

Apple wasn’t the first company to have their own store - they just did it better than anyone else... and they still do...
The products surely are a reason: you don't open a store if you don't have anything to show (and sell).
But Apple Stores, due to a very good marketing, were attracting customers in a way no one else did.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,152   +2,057
The products surely are a reason: you don't open a store if you don't have anything to show (and sell).
But Apple Stores, due to a very good marketing, were attracting customers in a way no one else did.
They were certainly very successful - but again, not the reason Apple is huge...