Microsoft dumps retail stores

Microsoft Store on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.

Microsoft Store on Fifth Avenue, Midtown Manhattan. © iStock.

After opening some 70 stores in the U.S. and 7 in Canada, Microsoft is giving up on physical retail. Microsoft’s retail foray had started under Steve Ballmer with the opening of the first two stores in 2009, to coincide with the launch of Windows 7. The model closely followed (if not copied exactly) the Apple Store concept, launched by Steve Jobs in 2000. Just a year ago, the first European Microsoft Store opened on Oxford Circus in London. Yet since the beginning, the Microsoft Stores have had trouble turning a profit, and observers have wondered about the soundness of the investment. It seems that this same question was asked around the Board table, and that the answer was to stop the bloodletting. According to sources, the closures had been planned for 2021, but the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the process. Four stores, in New York, Sydney, London and Redmond will be “reimagined” as “experience centers”.

The Verge, Chris Welch, “Microsoft to permanently close all of its retail stores.”


This entry was posted in Tech news in brief
by Laurent Gloaguen.
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