While retail stores being closed of late is nothing new, Microsoft says it’s going a step further by never reopening the majority of its own retail outlets.

Microsoft closed its stores in March as part of the coronavirus social distancing initiatives put in place around the globe, but the company seems to have decided that they should stay that way and that a “strategic shift” is required.

Those shifts always seem to end up with people being out of jobs, unfortunately. On this occasion Microsoft says that it will be offering team members alternative jobs, although whether they will be suitable is another question.

“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,” said Microsoft Corporate Vice President David Porter. “We are grateful to our Microsoft Store customers and we look forward to continuing to serve them online and with our retail sales team at Microsoft corporate locations.”

Microsoft Stores never really managed to capture the market in anything similar to the way Apple Stores have done worldwide.

Takes of empty stores were far from rare and Microsoft has clearly decided that the great Microsoft Store experiment has run its course. Maybe opening stores close to Apple Stores – often next door or opposite them – wasn’t the best move after all.

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