Microsoft announced last week that it would be permanently closing 83 physical retail stores in a major strategic shift, thus ending a decade-long experiment in replicating Apple’s success in retail. The first Microsoft Store opened in October 2009, nearly 11 years ago.
- Be Smart: Only four locations in London; New York City; Redmond, Washington; and Sydney will remain open, but they will be repurposed as Microsoft Experience Centers instead of traditional retail stores. Meanwhile, the enterprise software tech behemoth will invest heavily in its digital storefronts — which Microsoft says collectively have 1.2 billion monthly visitors — to facilitate virtual interactions, according to the Verge.
- Worth Noting: The plan to shutter the stores was originally in place for next year, but was accelerated by the coronavirus. This explains why the company had yet to reopen a single store after they were all closed in light of the pandemic. [Verge]