What just happened? Audio company Bose has announced that it's closing all of its brick-and-mortar retail stores across several global markets over the coming months, due to an increasing number of consumers choosing to shop online instead of physically checking out or buying their products in shops.
Getting hands-on experience with a gadget in-store has its own charm, where the excitement only increases upon observing other neatly arranged products that are yours to try. However, it makes little business sense to keep the shops open and employees on the clock when customers are increasingly shopping online, given the convenience it brings, among other benefits.
Bose, which sells premium audio equipment, has also been affected by this trend and, as a result, will soon be closing all of its retail stores in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia, citing "the dramatic shift to online shopping" in these markets.
"Originally, our retail stores gave people a way to experience, test, and talk to us about multi-component, CD and DVD-based home entertainment systems," said Colette Burke, Bose's vice president of global sales. "At the time, it was a radical idea, but we focused on what our customers needed, and where they needed it – and we’re doing the same thing now," she added.
The closure across these regions mean hundreds of layoffs for Bose's store teams, who Burke says have "set the standard for customer service" over the years. The company isn't revealing the number of employees affected, but it will be offering them "outplacement assistance and severance."
In countries including China and the United Arab Emirates, Bose still has around 130 retail stores, which the company says will continue to operate, alongside additional locations in India, Southeast Asia, and South Korea.