Microsoft announced a strategic change Friday, planning to close all physical store locations. The Redmond, Wash., based company said it will continue to support customers online, with retail team members working both remotely and at corporate locations.
All Microsoft Store locations have been closed since March due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, shifting to an “Emergency Remote Operations” model.
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The company’s release says it will continue to serve customers through digital storefronts on Microsoft.com and stores on Xbox and Windows, and plans to reimagine spaces that serve customers, locally and across the globe.
According to the release, the closing of store locations will result in a pre-tax charge of nearly $450 million to be recorded in the current quarter that ends June 30, 2020. The charge includes primarily asset write-offs and impairments.
“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 Vice President David Porter.
The company plans to keep investing in digital innovation across software and hardware, and plans to offer video chat support, online tutorials, and virtual workshops in the near future.
“It is a new day for how Microsoft Store team members will serve all customers,” Porter said. “We are energized about the opportunity to innovate in how we engage with all customers, maximize our talent for greatest impact, and most importantly help our valued customers achieve more.”