Microsoft Corp. said Friday it will close all of its physical store locations, as part of the software and cloud giant’s new approach to retail. The company expects to record a charge of $450 million, or 5 cents a share, during the current fiscal fourth quarter, for asset write offs and impairments. The new approach comes after the company had closed its Microsoft Store locations in late March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company said its retail employees will continue to work at corporate facilities and remotely. “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 Corporate Vice President David Porter. “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.” Microsoft’s stock, which slipped 0.3% in premarket trading, has rallied 27.0% year to date through Thursday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 9.8%.