The Microsoft Stores were intended to build on Apple’s success. That did not work and is now largely over.
Microsoft is withdrawing from retail with its 82 own stores worldwide. The software company announced this on Friday in Redmond. The shops are to be closed. Only the stores London, New York, Sydney and near the company headquarters in Redmond should remain as “Microsoft Experience Center”, in which no more goods will be sold.
Apple’s Success Never Achieved
Microsoft did not say how many jobs will be affected by the measures. The company announced that retail team members would continue to serve customers from Microsoft offices and offer remote sales, training, and support.
Microsoft began in 2009 to mimic the success of Apple’s numerous stores in the United States with a chain of retail stores. Microsoft products such as the Surface computers or the Xbox game console were sold there, as well as devices from manufacturers such as Dell, HP and Lenovo. In addition, new technology was presented there, such as the augmented reality glasses Hololens. However, the Microsoft Stores could never match the economic success of the Apple Stores, also because Microsoft no longer had its own smartphones after the Windows Phones were discontinued, while the iPhone drove business in the Apple stores.
72 stores were located in the USA, the rest in Canada, Australia and Great Britain. Microsoft did not have its own stores in Germany. The Group’s showroom in Berlin is not affected by the austerity measures. Online activities are also continuing: Microsoft will continue to invest in its digital shops on Microsoft.com and in shops for Xbox and Windows, reaching more than 1.2 billion people in 190 markets every month, the company said.