Microsoft is providing up on physics retail. This particular day the firm announced plans come permanently close all Microsoft Store locations in the unified States and also around the world, other than for 4 locations that will be “reimagined” as endure centers the no longer sell products.

Those places are new York City (Fifth Ave), London (Oxford Circus), Sydney (Westfield Sydney), and the Redmond campus location. The London keep only just opened around a year ago. All various other Microsoft save locations across the joined States and also globally will be closing, and also the agency will concentrate on digital retail relocating forward. Microsoft says and the Xbox and Windows storefronts with “up to 1.2 billion monthly customers in 190 markets.”

The agency tells The Verge the no layoffs will an outcome from today’s decision. “Our commitment come growing and also developing careers native this diverse talent pool is more powerful than ever,” Microsoft keep VP David Porter said in a LinkedIn post on the move.

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A source with understanding of Microsoft’s retail operations called The Verge the this setup was initially in place for following year, yet was increased by the COVID-19 pandemic. Microsoft’s Xbox collection X is launching this holiday, for this reason it provides sense that the company had in ~ least at first planned for the stores to do it the far. The dual-screen surface ar Neo machine that was additionally going come ship throughout the holidays has actually been delayed, though the surface ar Duo is reportedly still top top track because that this year. Still, if you were hoping your local Microsoft store would be a surefire bet for a new Xbox, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

The large decision partially defines why Microsoft had actually yet come reopen a solitary store after lock were all closed in irradiate of the pandemic. Critical week, Microsoft told The Verge the its “approach for re-opening Microsoft Store places is measured and cautious, guided through monitoring global data, listening come public health and safety experts, and also tracking local federal government restrictions.” at the time, the agency declined to sell an update on when any type of stores can open again.

Microsoft’s store in London.

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photo by Tom Warren / The Verge due to the fact that many Microsoft stores room in purchase centers and malls, the continued closure there is no stood out as unusual. In US claims that space taking a cautious approach to restoring sleeve operations — to avoid a renewal of the novel coronavirus — many malls remain closed. Over there have already been spikes of COVID-19 cases in areas with an ext relaxed guidelines, which has actually led Apple to re-close part stores where it had only freshly welcomed customers ago in.

In April, Microsoft outlined in a blog short article how countless retail store associates had actually shifted to remote work after their daily jobs to be sidelined. The firm has continued to administer regular pay because that team members through the pandemic. “Our sleeve team members will continue to offer customers working from Microsoft corporate infrastructure or remotely and also we will proceed to develop our diverse team in assistance of the overall agency mission and objectives,” the company said in today’s update.

The Microsoft keep debuted in 2009 and closely adhered come Apple’s effective retail playbook. Each save is a showcase for the this firm Surface and also Xbox hardware, to add a an option of third-party PCs. Employees were well-versed in all points Windows, and the agency also available in-store events, workshops, customer service, and also repairs.

The stores were were closed even prior to Microsoft’s recent hardware release cycle that consisted of the Surface publication 3, surface ar Go 2, surface ar Earbuds, and Surface Headphones 2.

Update June 26th 9:50AM ET: The short article has to be updated to clarify the all Microsoft sleeve stores will be closing. The company’s areas in new York, London, Sydney, and Redmond will be converted into experience centers that carry out not offer products.