As Apple closes dozens of its physical stores across America following the second wave of COVID cases (albeit not fatal cases), Microsoft has escalated closing their physical stores … foreveras part of a strategic shift in its retail operations.
Today, Microsoft announced a strategic change in its retail operations, including the closure of physical locations in the Microsoft Store. Members of the company’s retail team will continue to serve customers from Microsoft corporate offices and provide sales, training and support remotely. Microsoft will continue to invest in its digital storefronts on Microsoft.com and stores on Xbox and Windows, reaching over 1.2 billion people every month in 190 markets. The company will also review facilities that serve all customers, including Microsoft Experience operating centers in London, New York, Sydney and Redmond. Closing physical locations on the Microsoft Store will result in up to $ 450 million, or $ 0.05 per share, in the current quarter ending June 30, 2020. This amount includes mainly write-offs of assets and impairment.
“Our sales have grown on the Internet, as our product portfolio has turned mainly into digital offers.“Our talented team has proven successful in serving customers outside of any physical location,” said Microsoft Vice President David Porter.
“We are grateful to our customers from the Microsoft Store and look forward to continuing their service on the Internet and with our retail team at Microsoft corporate offices.”
Since the Microsoft Store was closed in late March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the retail team helped small businesses and educational customers digitalize; actually trained hundreds of thousands of corporate and educational clients in software for remote work and training; and helped customers with call support. The team supported the community by organizing over 14,000 online seminars and summer camps and over 3,000 virtual graduations.
“We have specially created teams with unique experience and skills that could serve customers from anywhere in the world. The development of our workforce has ensured that we can continue to serve customers of all sizes when they need us most, working remotely in recent months. ” said Porter. “Speaking in more than 120 languages, their diversity reflects the many communities we serve. Our commitment to growing and developing a career from this talent pool is stronger than ever. ”
Members of the retail team will serve consumers, small businesses, educators, and corporate customers, while creating talented professionals with the ability to transfer skills.
“The Microsoft Store team has long been celebrated at Microsoft and embodies our culture.” said Microsoft HR Director Kathleen Hogan. “The team has proven experience in attracting, motivating and developing diverse talents. This infusion of talent is invaluable to Microsoft and creates opportunities for thousands of people. ”
With significant growth through its digital storefronts, including Microsoft.com and stores on the Xbox and Windows, the company will continue to invest in digital innovations in the field of software and hardware. New services include support for 1: 1 video chat, online training videos and virtual seminars with the advent of new digital solutions.
“This is a new day when members of the Microsoft Store team will serve all customers.” said Porter. “We are pleased to be able to innovate in the way we interact with all customers, maximize our talent to achieve maximum returns and, most importantly, help our esteemed clients achieve more.”
Thus, presumably, those employees who were “cheated” for COVID will not return to their jobs?