The business landscape has been volatile and also vulnerable globally! It could be due to the global pandemic, which resulted in unfavorable stores circumstances for a few brands. Or there could be existing issues that got triggered due to the pandemic, for which brands had to take drastic steps. One case, for example, is with the leading global brand Microsoft. The globally acclaimed brand had announced that it is all set to close down the 83 Microsoft Stores in its retail locations permanently. The news came as a shock to many Microsoft brand loyalists. However, Microsoft mentioned that it would concentrate on the online store, i.e., Microsoft.com. Customers can visit this portal for training, sales, support, and also many more.
A few important announcements by the brand
Microsoft had also mentioned that the entire retail members would diligently work on the website in place of the in-store. Commenting on this massive operational change, a brand spokesperson shared with the prominent news channels that all Microsoft employees will stay with the company. That’s some relief keeping in mind the massive unemployment rates and job cuts taking place otherwise.
David Porter, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft, shares other relevant updates as well. He mentioned that the brand has evolved and expanded manifold online. Their product portfolio has incrementally grown because of the vast online offerings. Also, Microsoft’s talented team has been able to attend to customers successfully, even beyond physical locations. He further adds, that “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.”
However, the Microsoft shares had closed down to 2% a day back, i.e. Friday, June 27th.
Business feats by Microsoft
In the last ten years or more, Microsoft had started to grow its retail presence. It was an attempt to set-up a shopping experience following what globally acclaimed brand Apple was doing. People could check out new Microsoft hardware and software which got created by the brand and also its partners. Furthermore, Microsoft had also created a store in New York City, 5th Avenue, which is a couple of blocks away from Apple’s iconic glass cube store.
However, the decision probably got made, soon after Microsoft planned to close all its stores in March temporarily, because of the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus. The brand further stated that its decision to close down all the physical locations might lead to a pre-tax charge of about $0.05 on every share or $450 million. Microsoft confessed of recording this in the recent quarter ending on June 30th. Sharing more details, the company also said that the charge comprises of mainly asset write-offs and the impairments.
What’s the future course of action?
However, amidst all its recent company changes, Microsoft shared that it will keep investing in its online storefronts i.e., on Microsoft.com. It will also invest in its stores in Windows and also Xbox and reach out close to 1.2 billion people monthly across 190 markets. Last but not least, the company will also reimagine spaces that cater to consumers, which comprise operating Microsoft Experience Centers in Sydney, London, NYC, and also the Redmon campus sites.