Microsoft is deleting its retail stores.
The technology giant announced today that it’s permanently shuttering all its physical retail stores, as sales have expanded online. Instead, the company will rely on Microsoft corporate facilities and remote sales, training, and tech support.
“With significant growth through its digital storefronts, including Microsoft.com, and stores on Xbox and Windows, the company will continue to invest in digital innovation across software and hardware. New services include 1:1 video chat support, online tutorial videos, and virtual workshops with more digital solutions to come,” the company said.
The Microsoft retail stores had been closed for business since late March because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The company, based in Redmond, Washington, will keep open the Microsoft Experience Centers in London, New York, and Sydney, and on its corporate campus, though it will “reimagine” them.
It opened its first retail store in October 2009 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Longtime rival Apple started on the retail route in May 2001 with stores in McLean, Virginia, and Glendale, California, and continues to value its physical locations. It announced it was reclosing Apple stores in some states after COVID-19 rates went back up.