Microsoft abandons High Street

Microsoft is to shut its 80-plus retail stores, taking a hit $450 million in the process and abandoning the move to copy Apple in the consumer market.

The vendor said that only four stores globally – in London, New York City, Sydney and Redmond – will remain open as “experience centres”.

Microsoft corporate VP David Porter said: “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.¬†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.”

We have not seen much Volish retail activity in the UK. Microsoft’s physical stores are predominately in the US, with a single store in each of Australia, Puerto Rico and England. There are three stores in Canada.

The London branch opened to much fanfare last year, partly because of its close proximity to Apple’s own retail store.

It said: “The retail team members will serve consumers, small-business, education, and enterprise customers, while building a pipeline of talent with transferable skills.”

The closing of the physical stores will result in a $450 million pre-tax charge in the vendor’s current quarter, which closes at the end of this month.