Microsoft To Permanently Close Retail Stores Worldwide Amid Growing Online Sales

Microsoft announced today that it will permanently close retail stores worldwide. Employees of the company's retail stores will continue to provide technical support, sales, and training to customers through Microsoft corporate offices or remotely.

The Settle, Washington-based software giant will proceed to operate online stores and plans to restructure the "experience centers" in New York, London, Sydney, and its Redmond campus.

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 in a statement. “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.”

Much like Apple Stores, Microsoft Stores give a greater level of customer satisfaction both by only having sales staff as well as by employing "Technical Advisers" to assist customers with technical questions and issues, similar to Apple's "Geniuses." Microsoft Store also has offerings from third parties such as Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and VAIO.

The first Microsoft Store opened in Scottsdale, Arizona in October 2009, eight years later than Apple’s first Apple Store.

Thus far, there are 116 Mircosoft Stores around the world located in 4 countries, including Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

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