Microsoft reinvents its retail approach


Microsoft is closing all retail stores across the world.

The flagship outlets in New York City (Fifth Ave), London (Oxford Circus), Sydney (Westfield Sydney) and the company’s corporate headquarters in Redmond, Washington, will be “reimagined centres” Microsoft said in a statement.

Satya Nadella
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Retail team members will continue to serve customers from Microsoft corporate facilities and remotely provide sales, training, and support. Money is being spent on its digital storefronts on its own website and stores in Xbox and Windows, which reach more than 1.2 billion people every month in 190 countries.

“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. “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.”

The company’s stores closed in late March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The retail team virtually trained hundreds of thousands of enterprise and education customers on remote work and learning software, and helped customers with support calls. The team supported communities by hosting more than 14,000 online workshops and summer camps and more than 3,000 virtual graduations, the multinational technology company said.

“We deliberately built teams with unique backgrounds and skills that could serve customers from anywhere. The evolution of our workforce ensured we could continue to serve customers of all sizes when they needed us most, working remotely these last months,” said Porter. “Speaking over 120 languages, their diversity reflects the many communities we serve. Our commitment to growing and developing careers from this talent pool is stronger than ever.”

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

“The Microsoft Store team has long been celebrated at Microsoft and embodies our culture,” said the company’s Chief People Officer Kathleen Hogan. “The team has a proven track record of attracting, motivating, and developing diverse talent. This infusion of talent is invaluable for Microsoft and creates opportunities for thousands of people.”

The company founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on 4 April 1975 has launched new services including 1:1 video chat support, online tutorial videos, and virtual workshops with more digital solutions to come.

“It is a new day for how Microsoft Store team members will serve all customers,” said Porter. “We are energised about the opportunity to innovate in how we engage with all customers, maximise our talent for greatest impact, and most importantly help our valued customers achieve more.”

The technology company’s shares on the Nasdaq 100 closed at 200.34. Twelve months ago they were worth 136.58.

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