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Microsoft abandons traditional retail

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]

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