Microsoft Switching to Online Only Sales Model
Last year, in June Microsoft closed its all smaller specialty stores and kiosks in US which is now followed by its long time planned decision to shut down all its retail stores across the globe and transfer most of its resources to online channel.
Since the Microsoft store locations closed in late March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the retail team has helped small businesses; virtually trained hundreds of thousands of enterprises and educating customers on remote work and learning software; and helped customers with support calls. The team supported communities by hosting more than 14,000 online workshops and summer camps and more than 3,000 virtual graduations.
As per the recent announcement on its official blog, there are some exceptions, including flagships in London, New York City, Sydney and its own campus in Redmond, Washington, but the stores on remainder of the locations are going away.
These four stores will be turned into “Microsoft Experience Centers” rather than the standard stores. These stores would be used as a place to interact with products and take courses and none of them would be used for sales.
Microsoft has not announced lay-off of any store associate and has been planning the transition of its employees to its corporate hubs to provide customer remote sales, support and training.
Even though the company has noticed a spike in their customer reach through its digital platform (1.2 billion people every month in 190 markets), it has not yet announced its plans to double down on the digital retail.