Microsoft stores are seeing the last of its days as the company announced the closure of all branches. “Experience centers” will replace the four physical stores remaining.
The closure of all Microsoft stores is already planned back then. However, the decision is accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic.
All but four stores will shut its doors soon. “Experience centers” will take over the place of the four physical stores remaining.
Microsoft has not yet released the services of its “experience centers.” But, it is highly likely that these stores will be used to showcase all of its products. Users might then be able to test out these products before purchasing online.
Coronavirus taking part in Microsoft stores closure
The majority of Microsoft stores are located inside malls and shopping centers. The lockdown implemented to curb the pandemic has greatly affected how shoppers buy. Thus, digital shopping platforms like Amazon are raking in the sales.
The closure of malls greatly affected the sales of these Microsoft stores. The reopening of these stores was considered after the pandemic. However, it might be too late if Microsoft goes that route. Hence, The way to move forward is digitalization.
Going all out on digital retail
With Microsoft stores closing globally, the company will focus on digital retail as it moves forward.
According to Microsoft, the company has prepared for the digitalization while under the COVID-19 lockdown. Microsoft Corporate Centers handled staff training when it comes to handling digital users.
The company also mentioned that it will go all out on Microsoft.com. Xbox and Windows stores shall remain online as well.
“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.
Microsoft has iterated that it will continue to invest in digital innovation. This is both for the hardware and software that the company sells.
Microsoft Surface Neo faces delay, Surface Duo to push through
The Microsoft Surface Neo launch date has been postponed to 2021. The dual-screen device is supposedly arriving this 2020 holiday. But, the pandemic has delayed its production. Other Windows 10X will not hit the shelves this year either.
Meanwhile, the Microsoft Surface Duo shall push through with its initial launch date. The pocket-sized foldable device is arriving in the upcoming months. This is to compete with its rival dual-screen devices.
This is a bold move by Microsoft considering that it has not released a mobile device in quite some time.
The company is facing two scenarios this way. First, users shall be praising this new Microsoft device. Second, Samsung might overshadow the Surface Duo upon launch.
But, it is a risk that the company should take if it is keen on getting back to the mobile business.
With no physical stores open on the launch, the Surface Duo is expected to boost traffic on the online Microsoft stores.