Microsoft Corp said on Tuesday it will use its experience centers in London, New York and Sydney to sell products to customers starting July 1. The computing company, which shut its 72 international retail stores last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been using its experience centers to mainly host business customers.
Microsoft sells products through a number of distributors in Australia, such as Amazon and JB Hi-Fi, but said last June it would “reimagine” it’s experience centres as part of a strategic shift in how it handles retail.
The company didn’t say if the closures resulted in lay-offs, but said they would result in a pre-tax charge of about US$450 million ($A657 million), or 5 US cents per share to its current quarter.
Last month, Google-parent Alphabet Inc said it was opening its first physical retail store in New York City this summer, mirroring the approach that Apple has taken in recent decades.
Google, which has set up pop-up stores in the past to promote its products, said it would sell Pixel smartphones, Pixelbooks and Fitbit fitness trackers along with Nest smart home devices at the retail outlet.
It’s not yet clear what products will be sold at Microsoft’s Experience Centres.