Microsoft said on Friday it is permanently closing offline retail stores across the world except in four locations shifting focus on a strategic change for its retail business as sales increasingly shift online.
Microsoft has 116 stores in 5 countries including US, UK, Canada, Australia and Puerto Rico.
The four stores that will remain open will be redesigned. These stores are located in Fifth Avenue in New York City, Oxford Circus in London, Westfield Sydney in Sydney, and Redmond campus Washington.
“As part of our business plan, we announced a strategic change in our retail operations, including closing Microsoft Store physical locations. Our retail team members will continue to serve customers working from Microsoft corporate facilities or remotely,” David Porter, corporate vice president, Microsoft said in a statement.
Like other retailers, the software and computing giant had to temporarily close all of its stores in late March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Microsoft Corp. said the closures would result in a pretax charge of about 450 million, or 5 cents per share, taken in the current quarter ending June 30. The company didn’t say if the move would result in layoffs.