Microsoft is closing all of its retail stores, permanently

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2020
Citing changes in the retail landscape, the coronavirus, and changes in its own revenue model, Microsoft has announced that it will permanently shutter all of its retail venues.

The Microsoft Store in University Village, Seattle
The Microsoft Store in University Village, Seattle


In an announcement on Friday morning, Microsoft says that it is implementing a "strategic change" in its retail operations. As part of these changes and re-organizations, every one of its retail stores will close.

"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 in a statement to press. "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 says that retail team members will continue to serve customers from Microsoft corporate facilities and will remotely provide sales, training, and support as they have been doing since the stores were closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The company also says that it will 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."

Microsoft Experience Centers in London, New York City, Sydney, and Redmond campus locations will remain open, and will be reworked to serve all customers.

The closing of Microsoft Store physical locations will result in a pre-tax charge of approximately $450 million, or $0.05 per share. The charge will be recorded in the current quarter ending June 30, 2020, and includes asset write-offs and impairments.

Microsoft has 116 stores worldwide, with 107 of them in the United States. The first store opened in 1999, and closed in 2001. A wider retail initiative was stated in 2009, with launches in Scottsdale, Arizona and Mission Viejo, California.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57
    I honestly didn’t know Microsoft had retail stores. I remember seeing pop up kiosks at the Natick Mall when the Surface first launched but that’s about it. 
    marc gzroger73watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 57
    Microsoft has retail stores?
     B) 
    anantksundaramrepressthisBeatsjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 57
    darkpawdarkpaw Posts: 212member
    Almost half a billion dollars in write-offs? Wow. Epic fail.
    anantksundarambshankrepressthispatchythepirateStrangeDaysMplsPArszyjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 57
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,922member
    They were still open? Is it a “store” if they barely sell anything to customers?
    anantksundarampatchythepirateStrangeDaysjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 57
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,374member
    I honestly don't get why these stores even existed. Some of the most completely worthless stores I've ever seen. There was almost always 2x more employees than guests.
    anantksundarambshankStrangeDaysright_said_fredjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 57
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,991member
    In the Galleria Mall in St. Louis the Microsoft store is located not too far from the Apple store. Every time I walk down that promenade I notice the Microsoft store basically empty while the Apple store is packed. Just like Samsung stores the Microsoft stores where me-too efforts in response to Apple's legendary retail stores. The only difference was that Apple knew what it was doing while those two companies told their marketing execs "We have to get on this. Do what you have to do so we don't look like the losers we are in the retail space." Back then all of the tech companies had their branded stores in malls. The Galleria Mall in St. Louis once had a Bose store, a B&O store, a Sony store and they all failed and disappeared.
    headfull0wineRayz2016bloggerblogrepressthisequality72521entropysright_said_frednetroxjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 57
    macxpress said:
    I honestly don't get why these stores even existed. Some of the most completely worthless stores I've ever seen. There was almost always 2x more employees than guests.
    The funny thing is they copied the Apple model so much that they usually ended up right near the Apple store. It was such a contrast to see the Apple store always packed to the gills with customers when the Microsoft stores remained desperately empty. One more bit of Ballmer’s mismanagement legacy flushed down the crapper. A half a billion writeoff seems like quite the bargain really
    peterhartbshankjony0firelockwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 57
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,614member
    macxpress said:
    I honestly don't get why these stores even existed. Some of the most completely worthless stores I've ever seen. There was almost always 2x more employees than guests.
    The funny thing is they copied the Apple model so much that they usually ended up right near the Apple store. It was such a contrast to see the Apple store always packed to the gills with customers when the Microsoft stores remained desperately empty. One more bit of Ballmer’s mismanagement legacy flushed down the crapper. A half a billion writeoff seems like quite the bargain really
    I remember people's bemusement over their positioning too. Since at the time MS made no substantial hardware except Xbox it seemed a really weird venture, especially since sales of physical software was already declining. Who is going to go to a store just to look at keyboards and mice? I'd imagine up to the point of the virus it would have been good for MS to have stores to showcase their Surface products, not so much now.
    firelockwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 57
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,614member
    Also seemingly no mention of what's happening with the employees, given the boot presumably.
    equality72521chasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 57
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 817member
    It’s a nice form of saying” WE FAILED” imitating Apple
    bshankArszyjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 57
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,990member
    Microsoft really doesn't have that many physical objects to sell. Surface, Xbox, not much else. Costco, Best Buy and others display boxes of Microsoft software and have small areas for Microsoft stuff but the Apple Store has more things to sell as well as offering service and training. I never saw a need for Microsoft to have their own computer store because they already had coverage in a ton of places. At this point, Microsoft's income stream is top heavy with client licenses as well as Windows licenses. Their "projects" include the Surface, which they probably give away more than they sell (NFL), and Xbox (more than a project but also just a gaming station). I hate to give Microsoft any kudos but this was a good financial decision. Why waste money on something nobody uses?
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 57
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,337member
    Graveyard closure alert! Graveyard closure alert!

    Remember this? Fools...  :D


    elijahgchiabloggerbloghydrogenlkruppbadmonkStrangeDaysJapheyright_said_fredBeats
  • Reply 13 of 57
    mtrivisomtriviso Posts: 21member
    Microsoft tried to imitate Steve Job's Apple Stores...and failed. Hard fail. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 57
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,991member
    darkpaw said:
    Almost half a billion dollars in write-offs? Wow. Epic fail.
    Whoa now, just hold on. You do realize that only Apple is capable of Epic Fails. Just ask the members here who don't use Apple products yet constantly remind us of what an Epic Fail the company is.
    Rayz2016right_said_fredGabyjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 57
    elijahg said:
    Also seemingly no mention of what's happening with the employees, given the boot presumably.
    From the article; "Microsoft says that retail team members will continue to serve customers from Microsoft corporate facilities and will remotely provide sales, training, and support as they have been doing since the stores were closed because of the coronavirus pandemic"
  • Reply 16 of 57
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,388member
    Apple's integration of hardware, software and services is all the difference here. There's not a whole lot of reason to go to a Microsoft store, as their software is written to operate on any manufacturer's device, and Microsoft's own limited hardware offerings are largely an afterthought. Apple has built a business model that succeeds specifically because their operating systems are exclusive to their hardware, and designed concurrently. All of their hardware devices are designed to function together with seamless interoperability. Apple Stores succeed because there's a reason to go there. Their stuff works well, all works together, and their retail staff is sufficiently trained to be usefully knowledgeable of all that. 

    This is why it's always cringe-worthy when people keep popping up on these (and other) message boards, looking for Apple to break out of that integrated business model, and to do things more like Microsoft or Android. What's more surprising is that while Apple's competitors keep trying to replicate parts of Apple's business, none have caught on that it's the closed system itself that drives Apple's success. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.


    chiaRayz2016StrangeDaysentropyswatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 57
    There was an MS store in Yorkdale mall in Toronto, about four or five units up from the Apple store. You could see them both if you stood in the right place.

    You know what Apple stores are like - bumping elbows just to get in the door.

    The MS store was always empty. Well not empty, but maybe five or six people inside, and three or four staff.

    Every time.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 57
    indieshackindieshack Posts: 318member
    lkrupp said:
    In the Galleria Mall in St. Louis the Microsoft store is located not too far from the Apple store.
    I believe that was by design - they were intentionally located near Apple Stores 
  • Reply 19 of 57
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,068member
    I honestly didn’t know Microsoft had retail stores. I remember seeing pop up kiosks at the Natick Mall when the Surface first launched but that’s about it. 
    Maybe they should have called them libraries or showrooms.
    litoloopright_said_fred
  • Reply 20 of 57
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,614member
    elijahg said:
    Also seemingly no mention of what's happening with the employees, given the boot presumably.
    From the article; "Microsoft says that retail team members will continue to serve customers from Microsoft corporate facilities and will remotely provide sales, training, and support as they have been doing since the stores were closed because of the coronavirus pandemic"
    Ah I missed the "retail"  from "team members", thanks!
    watto_cobra
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