As a “strategic change” in lieu of the coronavirus pandemic, and the likely repercussions of the same, Microsoft Corp has announced that it will be permanently shutting down various retail stores around the world. It has reassured customers that the company will continue to invest in digital storefronts.
In a recent statement, the company declared that the transition will lead to a pretax charge of about $450 Million, equivalent to 5 cents a share, in the ongoing quarter.
David Porter, the Corporate Vice President at Microsoft said, “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.”
In late March, 82 retail stores of Microsoft Corp were shut down. Most of which are in the United States and feature Surface tablets, among other devices. Quite similarly, even though Apple Inc. reopened its retail stores, several of them had to close again as the virus surged in those locations.
In a statement from Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters, they declared that there has been a “significant growth” through the digital storefronts. These include the flagship Microsoft.com, and other stores for Xbox and Windows. The company plans to continue investing in these digital avenues, including 1:1 video chat support, virtual works and online tutorial videos.
In the past few months of lockdown, Microsoft’s retail team has been able to virtually train thousands of enterprise and education customers on remote work. Customers were also enabled with virtual learning softwares and support calls. So far, more than 14,000 online workshops and summer camps have been hosted, along with over 3,000 virtual graduation ceremonies.