Multinational technology company Microsoft has announced the permanent closure of its physical stores as part of its new approach to retail.
Under the announcement, all 83 Microsoft Store retail stores will be closed.
The retail staff will continue to serve Microsoft facilities and remotely offer sales, training, and support.
The closure will result in a pre-tax charge of approximately $450m, or $0.05 per share, which will be recorded in the current quarter ending 30 June.
Microsoft vice-president David Porter said: “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.”
Meanwhile, the company will continue to operate digital stores including Microsoft.com, and stores in Xbox and Windows and invest in digital innovation and services.
Some of the new launches are 1:1 video chat support, online tutorial videos and virtual workshops.
Microsoft will also focus on recreating or reinventing its retail spaces at Microsoft Experience Centres in London, New York City, Sydney and Redmond campus locations.
Porter added: “We deliberately built teams with unique backgrounds and skills that could serve customers from anywhere. 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.”