In a major shift in its approach to retail, Microsoft said Friday it’s closing all its physical stores in a move that will result in a pretax charge of $450 million for the June quarter.
The charge, of 0.05 cents per share, includes primarily asset write-offs and impairments. The stores have been shuttered since late March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The software giant had ramped up its retail presence over the past decade with locations reminiscent of ubiquitous Apple stores. Microsoft’s website lists 72 store locations in the U.S. and six others in Australia, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.K.
“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 VP 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.”
Microsoft said it will continue to invest in its digital storefronts on Microsoft.com, and stores in Xbox and Windows, reaching more than 1.2 billion people every month in 190 markets. The company will also reimagine spaces that serve all customers, including operating Microsoft Experience Centers in London, New York, Sydney, and Redmond campus locations. It will continue to serve customers from Microsoft corporate facilities and remotely providing sales, training, and support.
“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,” said Porter.