Microsoft is permanently closing all of its physical stores worldwide after it was forced to close all its retail locations globally back in May due to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.

Microsoft Stores shuttering globally

According to the announcement on Microsoft’s website, the online Microsoft Store will continue to operate and serve customers around the world, but the company’s global physical stores will be closing permanently. The firm’s retail team members will continue to serve customers from corporate facilities and remotely providing sales, training and support.

David Porter, Microsoft Corporate Vice President:

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. 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 closing of physical store locations will result in a pre-tax charge of approximately $450M million, or $0.05 per share, Microsoft cautioned.

The company’s so-called Experience Centers in New York City, London, Sydney and its Redmond, Washington campus will remain open. These are basically showrooms designed to showcase real-world examples of customers and partners using Microsoft technologies.

Microsoft’s 23,000-square-foot Industry Experience Center in Redmond, Washington

Microsoft’s first two stores opened nearly a decade ago within a week of the Windows 7 launch in Scottsdale, Arizona and Mission Viejo, California. Additional stores have since opened in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas, Washington, followed by stores in Canada, Australia, England and elsewhere.

Have you ever been to a Microsoft Store

What do yo make of this? If you’ve ever visited a physical Microsoft Store, what was your experience like compared with Apple’s retail shopping experience in its own physical stores?

Let us know down in the comments!