On Friday, Microsoft said it plans to close all of its physical Microsoft Store locations across the US and overseas permanently. Moving forward, it will focus its efforts on Microsoft.com, where customers can go to purchase products, as well as get support and training. The company will “reimagine” four locations — in London, New York City, Sydney and Redmond — as Microsoft Experience Centers but those locations won’t sell merchandise.
In an email to Engadget, a spokesperson for Microsoft said the company won’t lay off any employees as a result of the closures. “Our retail team members will continue to serve customers working from Microsoft corporate facilities or remotely and we will continue to develop our diverse team in support of the overall company mission and objectives,” said Microsoft corporate vice president David Porter. In a blog post published in April, the company noted it had continued to pay its retail employees their regular wage throughout the pandemic.